Panasonic Toyota Racing today began its preparations for the French Grand Prix on a hot Bastille Day at Magny-Cours. As the nation of France took to the roads to get away for the national holiday, Toyota's race drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher took to the track to get back to work. The two practice sessions around the Circuit de Nevers went well and both drivers completed their programmes of tyre comparison and set-up. Jarno has changed his helmet design for this race in honour of Italy's victory in last week's World Cup Final. The whole team will now push hard to give both drivers more to celebrate on Sunday.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/09B) First Session Classification: 4th, 6 laps completed Lap Time: 1m18.752s (+1.958s) Second Session Classification: 9th, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m18.274s (+1.372s)
"Today went well for us and the two sessions were pretty painless. We made it through everything that we had planned to test without problems and the car felt very strong. Apart from the higher temperatures, the track does not change as much here as at some circuits we go to so we look to be in good shape for the next two days. I like the Magny-Cours track and this is usually quite a nice place to race. The paddock has a different layout and there is a different atmosphere to many of the other tracks. We have gone well so far and the weekend seems very promising."
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 12th, 7 laps completed Lap Time: 1m19.806s (+3.012s) Second Session Classification: 11th, 23 laps completed Lap Time: 1m18.721s (+1.819s)
"Our pace looks pretty good so it was a successful day for me. The car seems well balanced so I hope we can carry on working as well as we have so far. I found a car in the middle of the track on my quickest lap so my best time was set on old tyres. The team is doing a good job and at the last test at Jerez we worked on tyres and set-up for this race. It was very hot and those are the conditions we expect to encounter here this weekend so we should hope for another good race. After the points I have taken in the last two races it would be nice to build on that progress on Sunday."
Dieter Gass - Chief Engineer Race and Test "We had a very positive day today and we made it through our entire programme without any issues. We got our long runs done and collected lots of data so we are in a position to make a confident choice about the tyres. We also went through all the set-up options that we had planned and both drivers were happy with the balance so we are satisfied with what we have achieved. Ralf has an update on his engine here while Jarno is still using his engine from Indianapolis because he is on the second race of his cycle. We also have updates to the aerodynamics and the suspension. Our performance looks promising so we will use that as a baseline for the rest of the weekend."