Panasonic Toyota Racing concluded its three-day test at Jerez with a trouble-free run in changing, and challenging, conditions in Spain. The morning started with a torrential downpour which soaked the circuit and made driving nearly impossible. But Toyota Young Driver Programme member Kamui Kobayashi showed no fear and followed Ralf Schumacher out of the garage, with the Toyota pair the first drivers to brave a wet track for an installation lap. Plans to continue evaluation of the 2007 Bridgestone tyres were put on hold until the track dried but in the afternoon sunshine, both Schumacher and Kobayashi returned to the planned programme and put the new rubber through its paces. The team are back at Jerez next week for the final test of the year.
Ralf Schumacher - Chassis TF106B/09
Best Lap Time: 1m20.339s
Total laps: 61
Total distance: 270.1kms
"This morning it was quite difficult to drive because of the rain – there were rivers running across the track and the car was aquaplaning. It was not really possible to use dry tyres until later in the afternoon as the track was still drying and there were too many wet patches. It would have made it difficult to compare our results to the information we got earlier this week. The car balance was better today so I think we are making progress, but there is still a lack of grip at this track and with these tyres."
Kamui Kobayashi - Chassis TF106B/07
Best Lap Time: 1m20.978s
Total laps: 70
Total distance: 309.9kms
"My two days here went quite well. I had to find a suitable driving style for Formula 1 and I tried out different set-ups until I found one I liked. I also had experience of new tyres which I enjoyed and I think it went well. Considering this was my first time at Jerez and only my second test with Toyota, I think I did a good job. But of course I can still improve and I need more experience with the car. During my two days here the Toyota team has been fantastic. It is different to anything else I have experience because everyone in the team is a professional, from the mechanics to the engineers. It was very easy to work with them and they have helped me learn about Formula 1. In particular I have learnt about the importance of communication when testing and also physically I know more about what being a Formula 1 driver requires. Also a Formula 1 car is very different from the cars I have driven previously and I have had to get used to traction control and some very speciali sed parts. I found that a bit tricky on my first test but I have improved this week and all the experience I have gained should really help me in my career."
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
"We were expecting rain this morning and we were not disappointed! It was not too bad from a testing point of view because it gave us the chance to gain more knowledge of our wet tyres and that is always useful because it is hard to simulate real wet conditions. Both Ralf and Kamui did well not to make any mistakes on a difficult track and when the circuit dried we were able to return to our programme of testing the new dry tyres."