Panasonic Toyota Racing today began preparations for the last race of the 2006 season under cloudy skies at the circuit of Interlagos in Sao Paulo. It was a good day of practice for race drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher. Both did more running than usual in the morning session and they finished their days of tyre and set-up work with the afternoon's 4th and 7th fastest times respectively. Toyota already has something to celebrate from Sao Paulo after the mechanics took second place behind hosts Petrobras in Wednesday night's 7-a-side football tournament in the presence of Brazilian legends Socrates and Careca. Now the team will do everything to secure more success on Sunday. The Brazilian Grand Prix marks the end of a season of tough work for the whole team and Toyota will be pushing as hard as possible to overhaul BMW for fifth place in the constructors' championship.
Jarno Trulli (Car 8, Chassis TF106/08B)
First Session Classification: 7th, 8 laps completed Lap Time: 1m14.888s (+1.124s) Second Session Classification: 4th, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m13.483s (+0.936s)
"That was a good Friday practice session for us. You always notice the bumps on the first day at Interlagos but we had no problems and we were able to make it through our programme of tyre and set-up work. We have been looking competitive so we are confident heading into tomorrow and the race. After our double points finish at Suzuka we are only one point away from BMW in the constructors' championship with one race to go. Every position is crucial for the team so the most important thing for this weekend is to push as hard as possible to try and move up to fifth place. Our pace has improved a lot this year. Now we have one more chance for points at this last race and we will do our best to take it."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 7, Chassis TF106/10B) First Session Classification: 11th, 6 laps completed Lap Time: 1m16.168s (+2.404s) Second Session Classification: 7th, 22 laps completed Lap Time: 1m13.765s (+1.218s)
"This circuit has always been difficult due to the bumps and today was no different. Today's sessions went okay and we had no real problems. We completed all our programmes as planned but now we have to sit together and make our tyre choice, which will be difficult. This is a challenging circuit for cars and drivers but I think our package should be good here. Our speed has been strong at recent races and we were quick at Suzuka a fortnight ago. So the trend has clearly been in the right direction and we hope that can continue here. Our target for the weekend is to take fifth place in the constructors' championship and I think that would be a just reward after all the hard work the team has put in this season."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test "So far things have gone well for us here at Interlagos. Today we had no technical problems so we were able to complete everything we had planned. Obviously the main focus was tyres and we have some interesting data which we will now have to analyse. We will certainly continue to evaluate the tyre choice tomorrow morning. We have also been working hard at riding the bumps, which are always an issue here. We put in more laps than usual this morning because it's a short track and we had mileage available. It was dirty early on but the track surface improved as the day went on. We look competitive so we will keep on working hard and keep focused on coming away with the points we need on Sunday."