The whole of the Panasonic Toyota Racing team is overjoyed after Jarno Trulli secured the team's first ever provisional pole position at Barcelona's first qualifying session. Trulli's time of 1m 14.795s was just good enough to put him ahead of a trio of close challengers including team-mate Ralf Schumacher, who ended up under a tenth of a second back in 4th place. Now the team will look to build on its fantastic start to the weekend in tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix.
Jarno Trulli put in an outstanding performance to grab provisional pole after a breathtaking first qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix. Trulli admits that he surprised even himself with his lap after suffering problems during morning practice. Now he will look to convert his start into yet another strong Sunday here in Barcelona.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/02)
First Practice Classification: 14th
Lap Time: 1m 18.215s (+2.610s)
Second Practice Classification: 7th
Lap Time: 1m 15.087s (+0.807s)
First Qualifying Classification: 1st
Lap Time: 1m 14.795s (Fastest)
"I'm delighted to be on provisional pole, and especially so because this is the first time Panasonic Toyota Racing has managed the feat. My lap was nice and clear but I must say I'm surprised to have taken such a perfect result. I was struggling to find grip this morning, but in the end things went much better in qualifying. I have no doubt that the race will be hard tomorrow as the front of the grid is so tight, but we will do our very best to convert this result into pole position tomorrow morning. Then I will give everything I have in the race."
GO FOURTH AND MULTIPLY
Ralf Schumacher will look to use his position on the second row as a springboard for a major challenge in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. The German ended up just 0.075s behind his pole-sitter team-mate and will now look to put in his customary strong performance in Sunday qualifying and the race in order to push even further up the order tomorrow.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/04) First Practice Classification: 3rd Lap Time: 1m 15.860s (+0.255s)
Second Practice Classification: 1st
Lap Time: 1m 14.280s (Fastest)
First Qualifying Classification: 4th
Lap Time: 1m 14.870s (+0.075s)
"I'm happy with my lap, which was good and clear. Perhaps I was a bit too cautious in the windy final sector, but to finish so close to the front is great news. I ended up only 75 thousandths of a second off pole, so I can't complain! In the end, it could have gone either way but even though I am not on provisional pole I am still confident looking ahead to tomorrow. The performance is there, the car is there, the tyres are there and I'm very confident with the car on race fuel. So now I will look to capitalise on this good start in the race. Tomorrow's another day and that's what counts."
The whole Panasonic Racing Team will have its eyes trained on Barcelona tomorrow after the team's outstanding result in first qualifying this afternoon. Now technical director chassis Mike Gascoyne is adamant that Toyota's strong form throughout the weekend means that it can fight for victory in tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix.
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis "It was an excellent lap from Jarno and it's great that Toyota is going into Sunday on top of the timesheets for the first time. Ralf was a bit disappointed because he was quick this morning and could have taken pole himself. But in the end he was very close, so we're happy with first and fourth. Barcelona is very much an aerodynamic circuit. We've been working very hard on our aero package and we had some updates for this race. It was a good job from everyone in the factory and now we've repaid them with provisional pole. We've been strong here all weekend, but we've still only done half the job. Now we have to look to try and convert that into a strong performance tomorrow. Rest assured we will be doing everything we can to get both cars onto the front row and to convert that into Toyota's first ever race win."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"It's a historic moment for Panasonic Toyota Racing to go into Sunday on the top of the timesheets for the first time in only our 4th year in the sport. Both drivers did a great job and now we must try and capitalise on that tomorrow."