For the first time this season, a Panasonic Toyota Racing TF105 will not feature on the front row of the grid, but fine performances from both Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher ensured two Toyotas in the top six for this afternoon's Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir.
CLEAN AND TIDY
Jarno Trulli will start the Bahrain GP from third on the grid after a tidy second qualifying lap this morning. Trulli will benefit from starting on the cleaner side of the track and be looking to make headway on Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher, who will occupy the front row.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/02)
Second Qualifying Classification: 5th
Lap Time: 1m32.667s (+0.613s)
Aggregate Qualiying Classification: 3rd
Agg Time: 3m02.660s (+0.758s)
"For the first time this season, I will not start from the front row of the grid, but I think third is a still a good result and representative of our current competitiveness. I am starting on the cleaner side of the track, which will hopefully enable me to get a better start than my immediate challengers and from there we have to look at finishing amongst the frontrunners."
Ralf Schumacher put his troubles from yesterday behind him and drove an impeccable lap in second qualifying to leapfrog five cars and put his TF105 in sixth place on the Bahrain grid. In the process, Ralf set the third quickest lap of the session, bettered only by front row incumbents Fernando and Michael.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/04) Second Qualifying Classification: 3rd Lap Time: 1m32.319s (+0.265s)
Aggregate Qualifying Classification: 6th Agg. Time: 3m03.271s (+1.369s)
"My lap this morning was good, but I can't quite shake the feeling of frustration because of the mistake on my flying lap yesterday. Looking on the positive side, I made up five positions as a result of today's session, which has put me in with a real chance for another good points finish this afternoon with a car that Jarno has shown can challenge for the podium."
NO POLE IN ONE AT GULF COURSE
Not claiming pole position in today's final qualifying session could prove to be more beneficial for Panasonic Toyota Racing with the impressive pace of the TF105s setting the team up nicely to cement its second place in the constructors championship.
Mike Gascoyne – Technical Director Chassis "It was a pretty good session this morning with Ralf more than making up for his lap yesterday with an excellent run to make up five positions on his way to sixth on the grid. Jarno, although not on the front row, will benefit from starting the race on the clean side of the track from where we will be looking to ensure a second successive podium finish and both cars firmly in the points."