Panasonic Toyota Racing today began its preparations for the Italian Grand Prix with Friday's two sessions of free practice in the leafy surroundings of the Parco di Monza. The weather outlook for the weekend is changeable but today the rain held off and both practice sessions took place in warm conditions on a dry track. Toyota had a solid day's work and race drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher recorded the 12th and 17th fastest times of the afternoon respectively. The team will now look to make use of all today's data as it bids to make the best tyre choice for Saturday's qualifying session and Sunday's race.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 16th, 2 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 12th, 12 laps completed Lap Time: 1m25.027s (+2.396s)
"We did not do as much running as usual today because we already had some data collected from our test here last week. The conditions were similar today so that made it a relatively straightforward Friday. The car is well balanced and we have no major problems so far. Toyota has made a huge improvement at recent races with the performance of the car. The team has worked hard with development and they are still pushing. Last week's test was promising so I expect to have a good weekend."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/10B) First Session Classification: 18th, 2 laps completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 17th, 22 laps completed Lap Time: 1m25.316s (+2.685s)
"It was good for me to do quite a few laps today because I had to cut short my test here last week due to a stomach problem. I have now recovered from that and today was a normal day of practice. We still have some work to do on the car but we collected most of the data that we needed for the weekend. The test also went quite well for us so we will hope to produce a strong performance here over the next two days. We continue to improve our pace and we are all determined to convert that into a good result."
Dieter Gass - Chief Engineer Race and Test "Because we tested here last week we didn't do as much running today as we usually do on a Friday. Of course Ralf missed out on running at the test because he was ill so it was good for him to do more laps today. But the main target was to confirm our test results and get some information on how the tyres are working. There are always small changes to the track between the test and the race weekend but the conditions are similar so far and we have a clear picture about our tyre choice. As usual at Monza we are running a specialised aerodynamic package for the low downforce requirements of the circuit, incorporating new front and rear wings. The car seems to be working well so far and it was good that we didn't have any issues. Now we need to look at our data and try to improve our performance for the rest of the weekend."