Panasonic Toyota Racing has added another trophy to its recently-opened cabinet after Jarno Trulli claimed the team's second podium of the season. Ralf Schumacher made it a double success in Bahrain by securing fourth position and bringing Toyota's tally of points for the Bahrain GP to thirteen.
Jarno Trulli proved that his renowned qualifying expertise are backed up by strong and committed race drives as he powered his way to a second successive podium finish in Sakhir today. Jarno has jumped to second in the drivers' championship with sixteen points.
"I am so pleased with this result. After Malaysia, I thought we would be competitive and to claim our second consecutive podium is fantastic. The car performed amazingly well, it was quick and reliable with no issues whatsoever. The braking, cooling, Michelin tyres, engine, everything worked well. I realised midway through the race that it was futile to try and catch Fernando and we were safely in second, which is tremendous for everyone in the team. I would like to thank all the team for this result, but we still have one place ahead of us, so we must keep pushing with that as the target."
THE FOURTH IS WITH RALF
Ralf Schumacher overcame his qualifying deficit from Saturday afternoon with a blinding second qualifying lap this morning to propel him to sixth on the grid. From there, his strategy panned out perfectly to enable him to bring his points total to nine and fourth spot in the drivers' championship
"Another great result for the team after our success in Malaysia. I had a good race, although it was pretty slippery, but that is to be expected at this track. The end result was dictated by the mistake in qualifying yesterday which bumped me down to eleventh but the team did a great job to move me up some positions on the grid. We have two cars in the points, including one on the podium, so well done to Jarno and everyone in the team both here and in Cologne. After my 5th place in Malaysia and now 4th in Bahrain, it must be my turn for the podium next."
TOY STORY TWO
With 25 points scored in two races, Panasonic Toyota Racing lies comfortably in second place in the constructors' championship, two points shy of its combined total since the debut race (and point) in Australia 2002.
Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal
"It is still like a dream to find ourselves in such competitive shape after only three years in the sport. I think first and foremost it is great to confirm our ultimate competitiveness at the front of Formula 1. It is also an outstanding achievement to consolidate Toyota's second place in the world championship. It really is a fantastic result. Performance-wise excellent drivers from both Jarno and Ralf. Jarno drove another smooth and consistent race making it look easy. Ralf did a great job in qualifying this morning to take him five places up the grid after a difficult lap yesterday. We knew his strategy would be compromised by stopping early but he drove a challenging race to pick up 4th place and five points – a great effort. Congratulations must again go to everyone in the team, the sponsors and the Toyota family. Now we have to look to ensure we retain this second place in the championship once the European season gets underway in Imola in three weeks."