Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing

Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying Round-Up

Panasonic Toyota Racing heads into tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix with high hopes after securing two spots in the top seven of the grid. Today's qualifying session took place on a warm afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya. There was a brief shower before the morning's practice session but the rain held off for the day's action and qualifying was sunny. Both Toyota's drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli made it into Qualifying Session 3, with Ralf taking 6th place and Jarno taking 7th. Both drivers will now look to capitalise on this performance in Sunday's race.

Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/05) PROVISIONAL GRID: 6th Free Practice Session 3: 13th Lap Time: 1m17.199s (+1.541s)
Laps: 19
Qualifying Session 1: 8th
Lap Time: 1m16.234s (+0.418s)
Laps: 6
Qualifying Session 2: 6th
Lap Time: 1m15.164s (+0.527s)
Laps: 6
Qualifying Session 3: 6th
Lap Time: 1m15.885s (+1.237s)
Laps: 16

"We had a good day today but it was a tough afternoon's work out there. We didn't use any new tyres this morning and we had to go to the limit to make it through into Session 3. The car was fine during all three sessions and we had no problems. The track was slightly slippery but nothing exceptional. My final lap was a clean lap but a driver is never completely satisfied, especially when a thousandth of a second is all you need to gain a place. Still, we are confident in our strategy and hopeful for the race, where we will push for a good result."

Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/04)
Free Practice Session 3: 18th
Lap Time: 1m18.411s (+2.753s)
Laps: 18
Qualifying Session 1: 6th
Lap Time: 1m16.174s (+0.358s)
Laps: 6
Qualifying Session 2: 3rd
Lap Time: 1m15.068s (+0.431s)
Laps: 6
Qualifying Session 3: 7th
Lap Time: 1m15.976s (+1.328s)
Laps: 16

"We're quite satisfied with today's performance. I had problems with understeer and the car behaviour changed a lot during the sessions. That meant I could not quite pull out the lap I would have liked at the end but we are still near the front. Because everyone knows this track so well, everyone runs at the absolute limit during this race weekend. We looked good in the tests here and we're near the front again today so things are looking positive. Now we will have to see how we can perform in the race. We have worked hard to eliminate the problems with tyre graining that we had yesterday. So we hope that helps us tomorrow and we can put in a good race performance."

Pascal Vasselon – Senior General Manager Chassis "Qualifying went better than we expected. This morning we decided to stay on used tyres so it was difficult to say exactly how we would fare on new rubber this afternoon. We were still confident we'd make the top ten and we managed that. The drivers started just 10-12 seconds before the end but you have to push to the limit. So it has to be tight and everything went according to plan. The Bridgestone tyres were strong and the two drivers did a very good job. Some other teams opted for two runs at the end of Session 3 and it's obviously something we considered, but our drivers feel very confident with just one outing. Now we can look forward to the race tomorrow. We have a sound strategy so let's see what happens."