Location: Circuito Permanente de Jerez, Spain Track length: 4.428kms
Panasonic Toyota Racing completed the final day of its test programme in Jerez this week and had another productive day furthering its knowledge of the TF106 chassis and Bridgestone tyres.
Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta worked through a number of set-up configurations, interrupted only by a couple of spins that were partly the result of strong gusting tailwinds that arrived towards the end of the day.
Trulli reported that the TF106 is a very definite step forward mechanically and Zonta has been highly impressed by both the performance and reliability of the 2.4-litre V8 from Toyota's engine department.
The team will now conduct its official introduction to the year with an event in France on Saturday before returning to work at Jerez next week.
After his first test of the year, Jarno Trulli is convinced that Toyota is heading in the right direction and that the TF106 is a step forward.
Jarno Trulli – Chassis TF106/02
Best lap time: 1m19.164s
Total laps: 97
Total distance: 429.516kms
"We are definitely heading in the right direction. Every day we look competitive and reliable and we know that there is still a lot of development to come. The TF106 that we are testing now is not the definitive car that we will race in Bahrain in the first race on March 12. There is a new aerodynamic package to come and we are pretty confident. We have a comprehensive programme to work through before then and in a way that is even more motivating because you can see everyone putting in such a big effort. The work ethic in this team is very strong and we are all fired up for the new season. We still need more experience with the tyres but the TF106 is a big improvement."
POWER FROM THE PEOPLE
After another three straight days in Spain, Ricardo Zonta was left highly impressed by the performance and reliability shown by Toyota's new RVX-06 2.4-litre V8.
Ricardo Zonta - Chassis TF106/01
Best lap time: 1m18.916s
Total laps: 89
Total distance: 394.092kms
"We did some longer runs today and it was a good opportunity for us to collect more tyre data. But I must say, I am very impressed by the V8 engine performance. We had no reliability issues at this test and I don't think that is the case with some of our rivals. We have done race mileages in the car without problem and that is a good position to be in. The engine department has done a very strong job."
EARLY LEARNING CENTRE
Mike Gascoyne made a flying visit to Jerez to check on the latest progress as the F1 teams continued to climb the '06 learning curve in Spain.
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director, Chassis: "In general we have had a productive test with all three drivers. The main focus for us at the moment is to continue the development work with Bridgestone based on what we learned before Christmas. We have found some clear directions to improve our consistency in particular. Our first lap pace has looked pretty good too, and there have been no major reliability issues. Overall it has been a rewarding three days and we look forward to continuing the progress here in Jerez next week. We feel that we are in a good position and pretty confident for the season. We have run our new mechanical components early and the drivers are all positive about those improvements. The latest aerodynamic parts will be brought to the car in February before the team leaves for the first race in Bahrain."