After rain this morning, the second qualifying session was held on an Imola track that improved with every run. But clean laps from both Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers mean Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher will line up in 5th and 10th respectively for the San Marino Grand Prix. With the weather still unpredictable there is a lot to play for this afternoon.
New father Jarno Trulli will start the San Marino Grand Prix from 5th on the grid after a smooth second qualifying lap this morning. He will be starting from the clean side of the track and looking to take his TF105 to yet another points finish.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/02)
Second Qualifying Classification: 5th
Lap Time: 1m 24.026s (+1.032s)
Aggregate Qualifying Classification: 5th Agg Time: 2m 44.518s (+1.638s)
"I never expected to be so high up in qualifying here, so this is a good result. I thought it would have been more difficult this morning on old tyres, but instead I was happy with the balance of the car and I did a good lap time. The race could still be difficult because we'll have to see how well we can keep our pace up over longer distances. The weather could yet play a part too but I will be doing my best to take another points finish."
INTO THE TOP TEN
Ralf Schumacher had to put in his run early in the session when the conditions were not at their best. But a tidy lap saw him edge up two places to 10th on the grid for this afternoon's race. Unlike Jarno, he will be starting on the dirty side of the grid.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/04) Second Qualifying Classification: 11th Lap Time: 1m 24.422s (+1.228s)
Aggregate Qualifying Classification: 11th Agg. Time: 2m 45.416s (+2.536s)
"It was another clean lap for me, with no real problems, but the conditions were such that everyone was going to go quicker with each run. But that's the way it is so we have to make the best of it. Looking ahead to this afternoon the race might start off quite boring because it's so difficult to overtake here, but we could have some racing towards the end. One way or another we hope we can come away with more points."
MOVING ON UP
The improving track conditions during second qualifying made it difficult to make significant gains for this afternoon's grid, but Panasonic Toyota Racing is happy to have moved both drivers into the top ten.
Mike Gascoyne – Technical Director Chassis "That was quite a satisfying qualifying session for us. It was always going to be difficult to pick up places with the track improving throughout the session because it meant that the cars who went after you were going to have a better track. So I think we can be very satisfied with 5th and 10th on the grid. Our weather forecast is predicting probably no more rain, but we'll have to see. Either way I'm sure we can have a strong race and get both cars in the points."