Panasonic Toyota Racing kept up its points-scoring start to the season at today's San Marino Grand Prix as Jarno Trulli claimed a hard-fought 7th place and Ralf Schumacher finished 8th. The team could not quite repeat the podium heroics of the last two races, but it remains in second place in the constructors' championship with 28 points.
TWO FOR MY BABY
After two successive podiums, Jarno Trulli kept up his scoring run at the San Marino Grand Prix. The Italian moved up to 3rd early on before struggling with oversteer late on. After battling hard for 62 laps he still brought the car home in 7th. The extra two points mean he is still in an impressive second in the drivers' championship with 18 points.
"This was always going to be the hardest race of the year for Toyota, so the fact that we took home three points between us makes it a good day. I changed my set-up just before qualifying and I ended up suffering from oversteer late on, but we've limited the damage. I gave everything I had and kept fighting to the end and we took 7th place. When my new son Enzo arrived last week I felt determined to bring something home for him. It's not a trophy this time, but two points are enough for now!"
AND ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD
Ralf Schumacher made up for losing ground at the start with a fine drive to pick up a solitary point for 8th place, finishing a fraction of a second behind Jarno. He now stands 5th in the championship with 10 points.
"To finish with both cars in the points here is a good result at this circuit which was always going to be a difficult one for us. I had no real problems other than the odd balance issue on one set of tyres and the guys did a great job for me – especially at the second pitstop. The eighth place arrived because we had such a perfect pitstop and we were able to catch the Williams in the pits. So a big thanks to all the guys and it's great that we can stay in second place in the constructors' championship."
THREE POINTS EARNED
After 7th and 8th places in the San Marino Grand Prix, the three points have maintained Panasonic Toyota Racing's strong start to the year. Such a strong performance at one of the team's worst circuits means that Toyota can look to build on that success throughout the season.
Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal
"We always knew this would be one of the worst circuits of the year for us, so the team did an excellent job to finish with two cars in the points. Jarno had a very difficult race, struggling with oversteer and lack of traction, so he did well to hold his position as well as he did during the pitstops. Ralf had a poor start which compromised his race and meant he was always in traffic. But he also did a good job and excellent pitstop work from the team meant he was able to get past both Williams cars at the second stop. I'd also like to congratulate Luca Marmorini and his engine team for getting both engines to the finish again after a tough race in Bahrain. Overall, to come away with second place in the championship without losing too much ground to the teams behind us is a good result. Now we must work hard to build on this performance over the next few races."