Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing

German Grand Prix - Preview


Fresh from Panasonic Toyota Racing's points finishes at the last three races, the German Grand Prix is the next European stop of the 2006 F1 calendar. This summer visit to the circuit at Hockenheim usually guarantees blazing hot weather so the run of scorching grand prix is likely to continue. The TMG factory is based in Cologne so this event is one of the 'home' races for the team and many of the company's employees will be in the grandstands. Ralf Schumacher will also be racing in his home country so he and team-mate Jarno Trulli will look to make the most of the improved pace shown by Toyota in recent race weekends.

Ralf Schumacher (Car 7): "It's always nice to come back to Hockenheim and I really enjoy the atmosphere, particularly because it is my home race. The fans are especially vocal in the stadium section, where the grandstands mean that there are people on all sides. On the old circuit through the forests the stadium used to be the main place to watch but now the whole track can be seen by the spectators. I like the revised track layout and the wide corners are good for driving fluently and maintaining a good rhythm. We normally expect hot weather for the race so tyre choice is important but our Bridgestone tyres have been excellent in recent races so I hope we can keep up our improved form. I had a good race at the circuit last year and worked my way up from 12th on the grid to 6th place thanks to good strategy work from the team. We did well in France and we should hope for another strong result on Sunday."

Jarno Trulli (Car 8): "Ever since I first competed in German Formula 3 I have enjoyed racing at Hockenheim. Of course it used to be all about low downforce and high speed but the circuit changed completely when they changed the layout in 2002. Now it is a technical track where setting up your car is very important. You need to have pace through the quicker sections but you must also get the most out of the many slower corners. The only passing opportunity comes into the hairpin at the end of the long straight so you need to have good straightline speed in the race to make sure you don't lose out. Last year I had one of those incident-filled races where everything happened, starting with a puncture at the first corner, so this year we will look to make up for that. Our form has been greatly improved recently due to very good work from the team both at the race tracks and at the factory. I was unlucky in France but now we must look to give everyone another strong result to cele brate."

Pascal Vasselon – Senior General Manager Chassis: "When we produced the TF106B the target was to allow for aerodynamic improvement. Since then we have had updates at most races and we have another one planned for the German Grand Prix. That means we will hope to keep up our improved performance of late. Hockenheim is one of the three hottest venues that we visit during the season, along with Budapest and Sepang, and the track temperatures can be in excess of 50 degrees Celsius. The old track through the forests was unique but the new layout is quite typical for an F1 circuit. From tyre side it is challenging for both the construction and the compound, with a predominance of rear limitation. It's down to the long straight, which is actually like a long corner. You have one good overtaking chance at the hairpin after the straight because the preceding corner is also slow and cars can run close to each other. This is Toyota's second home race of the year and there will be lots o f the company's employees in the grandstands so it will certainly be special for us."