Panasonic Toyota Racing began its preparations for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix under cloudy skies in Montreal today. Formula 1 cars do not run on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve outside of the race weekend so grip is always hard to come by on the first day. Sure enough, many cars went off the track during the morning session before the track improved in the afternoon. Toyota's race drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher both carried out solid days of practice work around this island in the St Lawrence Seaway. Jarno's second session ended early when he suffered a gearbox problem as he went for a long run but the two drivers still put in over 50 laps between them.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B) First Session Classification: 12th, 6 laps completed Lap Time: 1m20.861s (+3.471s) Second Session Classification: 16th, 23 laps completed Lap Time: 1m18.614s (+1.649s)
"This is not a permanent race track so it takes a lot of running before the circuit rubbers in and grip was very hard to find today. A lot of people struggled to stay on the track, particularly in the morning session when the track was at its greenest. The afternoon was better and we had a good day overall, making it through everything that I had planned. Brakes are critical here but we found no major problems today so I'm looking forward to a good weekend."
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 17th, 7 laps completed Lap Time: 1m24.029s (+7.639s) Second Session Classification: 19th, 17 laps completed Lap Time: 1m18.868s (+1.903s)
"We didn't learn as much as we would have liked today because I had a gearbox problem at the end of the second session and could not complete my last run. There was very little grip out there but it did improve in the afternoon. This is a hard circuit for the mechanical side of the car and reliability always plays a very important role. We don't yet know how competitive we will be but we made good preparations during our test at Monza last week so we're looking forward to a change of fortunes this weekend."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test "That was not a very easy day for us because it was a struggle for grip, especially in the first session. On top of that we had a gearbox problem at the beginning of Jarno's long run. That means we are missing some data for our tyre choice and it will be more difficult. It was a better day for Ralf, who went through his programme without any issues. He was happy with what he achieved. In the morning session the track was still very green – as usual in Montreal – and we saw a lot of cars cutting chicanes. But it immediately improved in the second session, when all the relevant work was done. We have a new front wing here in addition to our Montreal aero package so we will push hard for a strong result on Sunday."