Panasonic Toyota Racing will leave Montreal with three points after a spirited race from Jarno Trulli at today's Canadian Grand Prix. On a sweltering day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Jarno started in 4th place on the grid and ran as high as third for the first stint of the race. The Italian eventually came home in 6th place for his first points finish of 2006. It was a more difficult afternoon's work for Ralf Schumacher. The German started in 14th place and struggled for grip for much of the afternoon before the team retired his car shortly before the end. Toyota will now begin the journey south to Indianapolis for next weekend's US Grand Prix.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
Race Classification: 6th
Gap: +1 lap (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 4th
Time: 1m15.968s (+1.026s in Session 3)
"I'm just delighted I have finally scored my first points of the season at last! It was a great race in difficult conditions and a great effort from the whole team and everyone at the factory. We have been really pushing hard to improve the car and we've definitely made a big step forward with our performance, particularly since we brought the TF106B out. Unfortunately the results just would not come because of one problem or another so this is a great result for everyone. Even today I had a misfire and we ran the engine in recovery mode for the second half of the race. Nevertheless I pushed really hard to the end because I just didn't want to lose those points. Both the car and the Bridgestone tyres were really competitive. We made it to the finish and I can finally celebrate getting off the mark for 2006."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B) Race Classification: DNF Qualifying Classification: 14th
Time: 1m15.888s (+1.162s in Session 3)
"This was just never going to be my weekend. Today there was no specific problem but I just couldn't find any grip out there. It was my mistake because I went for the wrong tyres. It was a gamble but it didn't pay off. It was a tough race for everyone because there were so many marbles out on the circuit every time I went on them with my hard tyres I'd lose control of the car. In the end the inevitable happened and we just had to retire the car. I'm disappointed because it could have been a very good race for me. But at least Jarno scored a few points and his pace showed that our car is going much better. We just need to avoid mistakes. We will soon be in Indianapolis so I hope we can do a better job there and bring a good result home."
Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal
"We're delighted that Jarno has finally scored his first points of the year after narrowly missing out so often. P6 was our true place today because there were no retirements at all from the top cars so we again confirmed that we have the fourth best car on the grid. Jarno's strong start was very good news for us because we've lost places off the line in recent races. But the race still wasn't easy because we had an engine misfire and it also required some careful management of the tyres. We were expecting some graining and we had adapted our strategy to cope with that. Unfortunately by the second safety car he was already a lap back so he could not attack the cars in front. Ralf had a very different race and he struggled with a lack of grip throughout as did many cars in the heat today. We tried to help his situation but in the end we decided it was better to retire the car. We have to keep developing the aerodynamics, suspension and engine as we push to get closer to the ve ry front."