Location: Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain
Drivers: Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli
Track length: 5.412km
Panasonic Toyota Racing returned to action at the Bahrain International Circuit today for the first day of the final multi-team test before the 2007 season starts in Australia. Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli were at the wheel as the team tried out aerodynamic updates and worked on set-up after the endurance runs of last week. Both drivers had a mixed morning, with Jarno’s car needing repairs for a minor clutch issue while Ralf spun. Unfortunately, Ralf slightly hurt his back when his car bounced over the kerb and, after a massage, the decision was taken to allow him to rest in order to ensure he is fully fit for tomorrow. Franck Montagny stepped in at short notice and he took over Ralf’s car for the afternoon session. Both Jarno and Franck worked on set-up in the afternoon and brought back useful information which will help the team get the best out of the TF107. Ralf is expected to return alongside Jarno tomorrow for day two.
Ralf Schumacher - Chassis TF107/01
Best Lap Time: 1min 34.030s
Total laps: 36
Total distance: 194.8kms
"The morning was going okay until the car spun and bounced over the kerbs. Sadly, I hurt my back a bit and had to stop driving for the day. It’s not bad but I will rest my back now and I expect to resume tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli - Chassis TF107/03
Best Lap Time: 1min 33.150s
Total laps: 64
Total distance: 346.3kms
"I had an issue in the morning which cost me some time but in the afternoon we did some runs and worked on car set-up and tyres. We got some more experience of the car in different set-ups and just in general which is positive. It was hard at times to make a good comparison of the set-ups because of the wind but it was not such a bad day."
Franck Montagny - Chassis TF107/01
Best Lap Time: 1min 32.999s
Total laps: 37
Total distance: 200.2kms
"It was a surprise to be in the car this afternoon because I was not planned to be running but it was good. I prefer to be running with the car and trying to get some good results than doing some sports elsewhere. It was a positive afternoon. We did a couple of tests with different tyres and we evaluated the aero package. We could have gone a bit faster but I was not ready to do a qualifying run. That’s not really important, the main thing is we finished the work they started to do with Ralf. We are improving a little bit, day by day, step by step."
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
"Obviously, today’s programme was disrupted by Ralf’s problem in the morning. He is okay but we decided it was best to rest his back this afternoon so he can make the most of the final two days testing here. Luckily we had Franck available to replace him so we did not lose much time with our programme. Jarno had a couple of minor issues in the morning relating to the gearbox and he also lost time due to the red flags but that was the same for everybody. We are expecting Ralf back in the car tomorrow when we will resume our programme of set-up work."