After the unusually cold and wet weather at the Hungaroring earlier in the month, the first day of practice for the Turkish Grand Prix marked a return to normality for the F1 teams. Under sunny skies at the Istanbul Park circuit, Panasonic Toyota Racing began its preparations for Sunday's race with two solid sessions of practice work. Toyota's race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli recorded the 5th and 15th fastest times of the afternoon respectively. Track temperatures exceeded 50 degrees Celsius and more of the same is expected for the rest of the weekend. Now the team will use the data it has collected to make its tyre choice for qualifying and the race.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/10B) First Session Classification: 20th, 5 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 5th, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m28.614s (+0.523s)
"Turkey is a very nice country and we have again been well received in Istanbul. There is lots of interest in F1 around the city so it is a good place to come to race. Today we made it through our programme of tyre and set-up work as we hoped so that was a painless day. The car felt good today too so we should be reasonably happy with that. With this year's cars Turn 8 is a little easier than last year but it is still a very fast corner. We were competitive at the last few races before the August break and we have an improved aerodynamic package here so we hope to show a strong performance over the weekend."
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 21st, 2 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 15th, 18 laps completed Lap Time: 1m30.006s (+1.915s)
"It feels good to be back on track after our short August break. Istanbul is a nice city and the facilities at the circuit are outstanding so I enjoy coming here. After the cold and wet conditions we saw in Budapest I'm glad to see it's hot and sunny here. That should be good for us because our car has always performed well in these conditions. Today showed that we still have work to do on set-up, but we have quite a few aerodynamic improvements this weekend so we expect to edge closer to the pace of the top teams. We have been steadily improving our performance so if we can stay reliable we can hope for a good finish."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test "That was a positive Friday for us. We had no major issues throughout the day and we were able to finish all the work we had planned. We made it through our tyre programme and we already have a pretty clear idea about which direction we will take. Nevertheless we will check everything and go through all the data again tonight. We have a new aerodynamic package here, featuring a new front wing and a new floor. The car was working well today so we will hope to take advantage of that as the weekend progresses. At the moment it looks like we are in good shape for the race."