Panasonic Toyota Racing heads into Sunday's British Grand Prix with mixed results from today's qualifying sessions on another sweltering day at Silverstone. Ralf Schumacher did well to make it into Session 3 and he will line up 7th tomorrow after a fine last lap. But Jarno Trulli was less fortunate, failing to complete a single flying lap because of an engine problem. The team will change the engine for tomorrow's race but the Italian will have the hardest of battles from the back of the grid. The race is likely to be far from typical as the British summer continues to fail to live up to expectations. Today was another glorious day of sunshine with temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius and more of the same is expected tomorrow. After qualifying there was a special treat for Toyota as legendary Liverpool footballer Ian Rush joined the throngs in the motorhome to comment on England's first World Cup match against Paraguay.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B) PROVISIONAL GRID: 7th Free Practice Session 3: 19th, 12 laps Lap Time: 1m24.386s (+3.467s) Qualifying Session 1: 14th, 7 laps Lap Time: 1m22.886s (+1.868s) Qualifying Session 2: 10th, 6 laps Lap Time: 1m21.043s (+0.772s) Qualifying Session 3: 7th, 15 laps Lap Time: 1m21.073s (+0.820s)
"We can be very satisfied with what we achieved today. We expected to be somewhere between 6th and 10th so we managed to secure a good position. The car was really good, too. I struggled for grip yesterday and also this morning, as with many others here. It wasn't perfect for me in the first two sessions but as qualifying went on the guys got it right so thanks to them. My last run was much better and we had a lot of fuel on board so we're pretty pleased. As in many other circuits in Formula 1 it is a bit difficult to overtake here but we are confident about our strategy so we are looking forward to tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
PROVISIONAL GRID: 22nd
Free Practice Session 3: 16th, 13 laps
Lap Time: 1m23.459s (+2.540s)
Qualifying Session 1: 22nd, 2 laps
No lap time
"Unfortunately I could not even record a time in qualifying today because I had an engine problem on my first flying lap. I just noticed smoke coming out of the back and that was the end of my afternoon's work. It means I will be starting at the back of the grid tomorrow, which is a particular pity because our new TF106B was going well here, as it did in Monaco. Yesterday we were competitive and we were confident after this morning because we didn't use any new tyres. It will be a very difficult race tomorrow because it's practically impossible to overtake around here. Still, I will stay focused, push as hard as I can and just keep hoping my fortunes will soon turn around."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis "That was a difficult qualifying session in terms of emotion. After yesterday's practice we were confident we would be competitive today, and it was part of the strategy that we did not run new tyres this morning. But obviously everything got off on the wrong foot with Jarno's engine failure. We are still investigating the cause of Jarno's problem but we will change his engine for tomorrow and he will start at the back. But the car's pace was strong and Ralf put together a great lap in the last minute of qualifying, so congratulations to him for that. We are now fairly confident that the race will be dry. So based on the running so far and Ralf's lap today he is in a very good position for tomorrow."