Panasonic Toyota Racing today began its preparations for Sunday's US Grand Prix on a hot but cloudy day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There was no repeat of last year's dramatic Friday of practice but it was a challenging day for Toyota's race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli. They both suffered technical problems and they were unable to complete their work on set-up and tyre comparisons. There was more to cheer for the drivers from the football World Cup. In between the sessions Ralf celebrated his 31st birthday by watching his native Germany defeat Argentina on penalties. Immediately after the second session, Jarno's home nation Italy took the lead against Ukraine as they fought for the right to play Germany in the semi-finals.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 17th, 2 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 23rd, 13 laps completed Lap Time: 1m14.449s (+2.436s)
"It was a difficult day due to some problems with the sensors on my car. We also had a lot of graining on our tyres and I had some understeer. We tried to put in a long run in order to understand that better but it has been a disrupted day's work for us. It's hard to predict how we will get on here because it's another track where we do no testing. But while we still have some work to do on reliability, our car is improving with every race. If we get the right conditions and we can get the most out of our tyres then we can expect to be competitive."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B) First Session Classification: 18th, 2 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 27th, 10 laps completed Lap Time: 1m15.063s (+3.050s)
"The circuit was very slippery today and unfortunately we couldn't complete our programme of work because we had a lot of vibrations on our car. We tried to rectify the problem but it returned towards the end of the second session. So that meant we were unable to put in a lot of laps today and tonight we will need to double-check what is causing the issue. At one point Sato lost a piece of bodywork from his Super Aguri in front of me and I was hit but it doesn't seem to have caused any damage. Now we have to look to tackle these problems for the rest of the weekend."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test "We had a number of different problems on the two cars so it was a difficult day's work for us. Nonetheless we still managed to achieve most today's planned programme although we have not been able to complete our tyre evaluation as we would have liked. Now we have to look at the data we do have and decide on what changes to make for tomorrow. After Jarno's good result in Canada last week we should achieve a similar performance here. So we expect to be competitive in qualifying and the race."