With exactly 17 days remaining before the season-opening race in Bahrain, Panasonic Toyota Racing returns to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the last phase of its winter test programme. Most attention this week is focused on Barcelona, with all teams making final preparations and conclusive adjustments to their 2006 race machinery.
After spending some time on the weekend at the Olympic Games in Torino, watching ski jumping and various cross-country events, Jarno Trulli joins his colleague Ralf Schumacher this week to carry on testing the long-awaited aerodynamic package, which was introduced last Tuesday at Vallelunga. In addition to testing the new aerodynamics, the team practiced a few pit stops and continued gathering data on the Bridgestone tyres.
ALL IN A DAY'S WORK
Jarno Trulli had a long day of running, putting in over 90 laps with the new car.
Jarno Trulli - Chassis TF106/04
Best lap time: 1m16.193s
Total laps: 94
Total distance: 434.938kms
"Today was a reasonable day for testing. We worked on gathering information about the new car, the new aerodynamics and how the tyres work. We did a lot of long runs and I am pleased with the development. The tyres are getting faster and the car is showing promising results. I am looking forward to putting some more mileage on the car this week to see how we compare to the other teams for the coming season."
WINGING HIS WAY
Ralf Schumacher was winging his way around the Barcelona circuit for the first time in the new-looking TF106.
Ralf Schumacher - Chassis TF106/03
Best lap time: 1m16.381s
Total laps: 49
Total distance: 226.723kms
"Today we had encouraging results, although we had to wait until the circuit had the right temperature this morning, but then we could go out and finally test the new car. My impression of the new aerodynamic package is very positive and what I expected. It was unfortunately not possible for me to drive in Vallelunga with the poor weather conditions, but according to Jarno's experience last week and those from today, it has met our expectations. It is still early to say where we stand, so we will have to wait and see."
WIND BENEATH MY WINGS
Technical Director, Chassis, Mike Gascoyne was pleased to report a useful first day in Barcelona.
"We can be pleased with the running throughout the day. Both drivers seem to be optimistic. Today, we were trying to get the tyres to work in the right operating window as well as improving the warm-up and getting the first lap in. But in the long run, we are heading in the right direction. We had a small tyre puncture on Jarno's car, but nothing major to be concerned about. Aerodynamically we have seen today that we are achieving what we expected, and tyre-wise we still have work, but as far as the chassis side and mechanical reliability are concerned, we have no real worries heading towards Bahrain."