With just ten days remaining before the F1 paddock gathers for the first race on the European continent, Panasonic Toyota Racing was in action today alongside almost all of its rivals in Barcelona. With nine teams testing, the track was quite busy. Nevertheless, Oliver Panis and Ricardo Zonta started out the team's test programme by working on such items as aerodynamics, tyre construction and electronics. Tomorrow, Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli will be on hand to continue the test agenda.
Ricardo Zonta, returning from a positive test at Paul Ricard, feels that the team is making good progress.
Ricardo Zonta - Chassis TF106/01
Best lap time: 1m15.426s
Total laps: 88
Total distance: 407.176kms
"It was a very good day in general. We worked on short runs, concentrating on tyre testing and aerodynamics. This is the first time that I have driven the 'new' car in Barcelona, since it was released in Vallelunga. It was very difficult with so many drivers on the track to get a clean lap, but in the end, we had a good time and were happy with the results. The car is showing potential and we still have a lot to do, but we are definitely moving ahead well."
GETTING USED TO IT
Olivier Panis points out that he is getting used to the car and gaining a feeling for the Bridgestone tyres.
Olivier Panis - Chassis TF106/03
Best lap time: 1m16.812s
Total laps: 71
Total distance: 328.517kms
"We worked on some electronics and had planned to work on some tyre testing, but due to some red flag delays during the day and we did not finish every item we wanted to get through. However, the team worked hard and we did our best to put in 71 laps. At the end of the day I can say that I am still adapting to the car and the tyres. I am working on getting a good feeling for the balance to be able to give useful feedback. We can see from Ricardo that the car drives well and can be quick, but it is just a matter for me to carry on the tests and prepare the car for the next races. With each test, there is progress and I am confident everything is coming along."
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT, GO
Chief Engineer Race and Test, Dieter Gass was pleased to report a useful first day in Barcelona.
"It was a productive day with both cars. Ricardo was successful in gaining results on the tyres and aerodynamics and with Olivier we were working on electronic items. A lot of testing was hampered today by red flags and traffic, which was disturbing when we were trying to run our tyre tests. Yet, we managed to get through most of the work, both drivers were pushing hard and there are some very clear directions to focus on for the coming races."