The hills of the Eifel are alive with the cheers and team colours of Panasonic Toyota Racing. Over 600 employees and supporters will be on hand over the weekend at the Grand Prix of Europe to root for the home team. Preparations today concluded with Ralf Schumacher finishing his planned programme, while Jarno Trulli missed out on most of the two practice sessions due to vibrations in the front end of his car.
150 AND STILL PUSHING
Ralf Schumacher celebrates his 150th Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, where he has driven many kilometres and has fond memories.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/05) First Session Classification: 9th, 6 lap completed Lap Time: 1m34.995s (+2.916) Second Session Classification: 6th, 19 laps completed Lap Time: 1m33.883s (+1.208s)
"It was good to be back at the Nürburgring and the weather here was surprisingly good considering how this region is always so unpredictable. Overall, today's preparations went relatively well. We finished our planned programme of set-up and tyre work on my car. We are still searching for grip and pushing to get more out of our package, and although the tyre performance is improving, it is difficult to say on Friday how the weekend will unfold."
Having started the first four races with some set-backs, Jarno Trulli looks forward to his 154th Grand Prix with his head high, looking to improve on performance.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/04)
First Session Classification: 19th, 1 lap completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 28th, 5 laps completed No lap time
"This is like our home race because it is close to the factory, so we have hopes to perform even better because we have a lot of supporters and employees cheering us on. The practice sessions today turned out to be quite difficult because we had some issues with my car and therefore I could only complete a few laps. We could not solve the problem during practice in time for me to go out and do some meaningful running, but the team will take the car apart completely to find the source of this concern."
GOING INTO DETAIL
A troublesome encounter with vibrations in both cars challenged the Panasonic Toyota Racing team during today's practice sessions at the Nürburgring.
Dieter Gass - Chief Engineer Race and Test "Unfortunately it was a difficult day for us as we had some vibrations on both cars in the first session, and the vibrations resumed on Jarno's car in the afternoon. We changed a lot of items on the car, yet the vibrations were still present. We will have to evaluate this issue even further in detail in preparation for tomorrow. This makes our tyre choice particularly difficult, which is already challenging at this track. Although Ralf finished his entire programme, we hope to gain better information during tomorrow's practice session before heading into qualifying."