Panasonic Toyota Racing made a solid start to the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola today with all three drivers finishing their programmes without technical problems and third driver Ricardo Zonta ending both sessions in the top four. The team will now set about analysing the data from the tyre comparisons to make a choice for the rest of the weekend.
Now the proud father of one-week-old baby Enzo, Jarno Trulli finished the second session at Imola in 12th position. The Italian had a trouble-free afternoon's running but admits there is work to do.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/02)
First Session Classification: 24th, 1 lap completed No Lap Time Second Session Classification: 12th, 20 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.343s (+2.859s)
"This was a typical Friday putting in runs to test out the two Michelin tyre compounds and set-ups for the weekend. In the morning I put in only one installation lap to save mileage, but we did some more running in the afternoon. Imola has been a difficult circuit for Toyota in the past and, while the car felt okay running over kerbs, we are not entirely happy what we have achieved so far here. Still, we will be doing everything to keep up our run of scoring points."
UPPING THE VARIANTE
Like his team-mate, Ralf Schumacher had only limited running in the morning session, putting in only four laps. He, too, had a trouble-free afternoon's running in preparation for qualifying and the race.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/04) First Session Classification: 19th, 4 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 26.333s (+5.273s) Second Session Classification: 15th, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.466s (+2.982s)
"This was a difficult day for everybody and we still have a lot of work to do and the car for the weekend. We had no technical problems, but it is hard to find grip around the circuit so that is the first thing we have to work on. The famous Imola kerbs are not so much of an issue for us here as the car felt reasonably good over them. But tyre choice is difficult, even if I'm sure we'll make a good one in the end. Then we will push for another good result."
ZONTA LAPS IT UP
Ricardo Zonta put in a trouble-free Friday of running, managing to complete a total of 56 laps. He recorded the second fastest time of the morning session and completed his planned programme of tyre evaluation.
Ricardo Zonta (Car 38, Chassis TF105/05) First Session Classification: 2nd, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 21.174s (+0.114s) Second Session Classification: 4th, 35 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 21.889s (+1.405s)
"We managed to put in a lot of laps over the two sessions here. There was not much grip on the track early on in the morning session, but the conditions improved with every outing we had. I also felt an improvement over the kerbs compared to what I remember from here last year. We took the slightly wrong direction over set-up for the long runs in the afternoon, but it was good to learn from that mistake."
WORK IN PROGRESS
Imola has never been one of Toyota's favourite tracks, but a solid Friday's work has set the team up for an attempt to reverse that trend here this weekend.
Dieter Gass – Chief Race Engineer
"We had a reasonably productive day with no real mechanical worries on any of the cars. Ricardo conducted his normal tyre evaluation with long runs in the second session. Unfortunately on his car we took a slightly wrong direction on set-up, which meant he struggled in the afternoon. The race drivers had only limited running in the first session, putting in only installation laps to conserve mileage. They moved on to comparing tyres in the afternoon. We have to look at that data very carefully because the tyre choice is not as clear cut as we thought. Generally the car is not bad, but I think we can still improve the cars a lot for tomorrow. There's certainly room for improvement."