Preparations for the 54th German Grand Prix began today for Panasonic Toyota Racing at a humid Hockenheimring. Race drivers Jarno Trulli, who signed on today to continue driving for the team in the coming seasons, and Ralf Schumacher made a solid start during the two practice sessions. Their programmes consisted of working on tyre comparisons and final set-up preparations. The team finished the day, having put in 17 and 18 laps and ending up with the 12th and 13th fastest times respectively. Jarno will be using the latest specification RVX-06 Toyota engine this weekend. Ralf received the upgraded engine package in France but Jarno was on the second race of his cycle started at Indianapolis. The German Grand Prix has always been a race to expect the unexpected, especially with regards to weather. One thing for certain, is that Panasonic Toyota Racing will be focused on maintaining the progress made in the last few races and improving the team's current position in the champion ship.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 22nd, 4 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 12th, 13 laps completed Lap time: 1m17.844s (+1.619s)
"Today was a relatively good day for me. Especially now that I have signed my contract with the team, I am very happy that we can look forward and concentrate on developing our progress even further. The practice sessions today went as normal, even though it threatened to rain during the second session. We have already worked on the tyres for this race at the last test to get a feeling how they would perform at this track. But we should encounter warmer temperatures tomorrow and this will give us a better insight as to how well we can perform here over the weekend."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B) First Session Classification: 21st, 4 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 13th, 14 laps completed Lap Time: 1m17.895s (+1.670s)
"It's always nice to come to Hockenheim because I enjoy the atmosphere and feel at home. Today was a pretty successful day of work on tyres and set-up for the weekend. In the few laps that I went out for, everything was looking good. We made it through both practice sessions without problems, even though we were working under time pressure due to the rain. We collected all the data we needed, so we will have to see what tyre choice will be made. Our progress has been improving and I believe our package still has the potential to compete at the front of the pack on Sunday. "
Dieter Gass - Chief Engineer Race and Test "The weather turned out to be a challenge today especially during the second session. We could not go out as much as we wanted to work on the tyres, but are looking to take advantage of the third practice session tomorrow to collect some more data for comparison. Both cars have a small aerodynamic update and Jarno will be driving with the latest specification engine. Tyres will play a very important role on the performance here, but we will have to look at the data before making the final tyre choice. Tomorrow will tell us more about what we can expect, but I believe that we can anticipate similar results as we had in Magny Cours."