Panasonic Toyota Racing today began its preparations for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix on the outskirts of the city of Barcelona. All the drivers know the Circuit de Catalunya better than any other track after hours and hours of pounding round during tests in all conditions throughout the year. The rain in Spain fell mainly in the morning today, meaning the first practice session began on a damp track and most drivers opted to remain in the garage. Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher both had busier afternoons, successfully completing their programmes of tyre comparison and set-up fine-tuning with over 50 laps between them. They will now look to continue that progress as Toyota seeks a strong result on Sunday. This weekend's event is a sell-out, with 330,000 people expected to attend over the course of the three days.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/05) First Session Classification: 17th, 1 lap completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 10th, 25 laps completed Lap Time: 1m17.506s (+0.973s)
"Today was a pretty painless start to the weekend. The car felt okay, we had no problems and we made it through our tyre programme. I haven't had many good results in Barcelona in the past, but I do like the track. It is a difficult circuit to drive and a very good test for car performance. Our car is well balanced and we have good race pace so we will hope to perform well over the rest of the weekend. The whole team has high expectations but we could certainly do with some points for both the drivers' and the constructors' championships. We narrowly missed out last week and we have to keep pushing for more on Sunday."
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/04)
First Session Classification: 13th, 1 lap completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 11th, 30 laps completed Lap Time: 1m17.610s (+1.077s)
"I struggled for performance during the race at the European Grand Prix last week but now we have understood what happened and found some issues we had with the set-up. So we hope to avoid a repeat of the problem and I'm sure that we can do better here. We were quite competitive at the last test that we had at this circuit. The conditions are likely to be different this weekend but nevertheless I am confident. Today was a normal Friday of tyre comparisons. We had some graining so we still have a bit of work to do. But if everything goes well during the weekend then I'm sure that we can claim a good result. I've made the podium here in the last two years so I'm definitely confident heading into Sunday."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test "Overall that was a positive Friday for us. We made it through a lot of work and we had no problems with our cars which ran reliably throughout. It was pointless to do any running in the first session because the early shower left the track too green so we just did installation laps. The track was still slippery at the start of the second session but it improved a lot as the hour went on. We had a busy time with both drivers, collecting some valuable information on our tyres. That means we have all the data we need for the choice tomorrow. There is still work to be done on the set-up but this is a good starting point for the weekend."