Under somewhat cloudy skies, Panasonic Toyota Racing secured two more points at the German Grand Prix, which turned out to be a challenging, yet exciting race for the team. The third corner right at the start was the showplace of contact between Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard. Upon colliding with David, Ralf's nose was damaged, thus forcing him to make an early pit stop for repairs. He lost 8 positions, but came back fighting and pushed through traffic before having to drive through the pit lane in lap 35 as a penalty for speeding during his pit stop. Considering he had four pit stops, he had a solid drive and finished in 9th place. Jarno on the other hand, had a great start after moving up 8 positions from 20th to 12th place. He gave a strong showing of the TF106B's potential and his driving ability by overtaking many cars and moving up the field the whole race to capture 7th place. Now the team will travel to Budapest, the beautiful city which is known as the 'Queen o f the Danube', to contest the final round of races before the well-earned summer break. The team hopes to repeat similar results to last year in Hungary, where Ralf and Jarno took 3rd and 4th place respectively.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/09B)
Race Classification: 7th
Gap: +26.544s (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 13th
Lap time: 1m15.150s (+1.372s in Session 2)
"As always, the German Grand Prix brings unexpected results and this weekend has not gone how we had hoped for. It is quite unfortunate that we did not qualify better yesterday. But even though I started from the back of the grid, we can be very happy with the performance of the car and the fantastic results. I had an incredible start and could do a lot of overtaking which made the race quite exciting for me. Our race pace was very quick and we can be encouraged by the results we ended up with today. I owe a great thanks to the team, because the car was very competitive and I think we have huge potential to bounce back at the coming races."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/07B) Race Classification: 9th
Gap: +1.00.351s (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 8th
Lap time: 1m15.923s (1.853s in Session 3)
"It is a very disappointing weekend for us because we could have achieved much better results. The start of the race was quite difficult and then I had the unlucky collision with David Coulthard in the third corner. The tyres locked up and I could not steer away from him. These things are normal racing incidents that can happen. The results are unfortunate for the team who have been working so hard to bring us forward. But I truly believe that had we been able to follow our original strategy, we could have reached a podium position. As you can see from Jarno's performance, we have shown that this is definitely possible. I am looking forward to Hungary to make things better."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"The results of the race were unfortunately not as good as we were hoping for. But I have really enjoyed the race and found it to be quite exciting to see how our two cars could overtake many cars in the field. The most positive thing for me, was to see Jarno move up from 20th in the back to 7th place. He even had the fastest speed of 317kmh in the speed trap, and the drivers had the 4th and 5th fastest laps, which show how good our pace is improving. Unfortunately for Ralf, we had a few incidents, like his collision at the beginning and then his drive-through penalty, which cost him a lot of time. But he did his best to move up the field. I am very confident and sure about our car's performance based on today's race. We just need to make sure that this progress continues in a positive direction for us to be competitive among the top teams."