Panasonic Toyota Racing kept up its impressive start to the season at today's Spanish Grand Prix as Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher took 3rd and 4th after an epic race. The pair fought hard all day, running nose to tail for much of the race under the Barcelona sun before Jarno took his third podium in four races. The result keeps the team in second place in the constructors' championship with 40 points.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD DRIVE
Jarno Trulli took a hard won 3rd place around the Circuit de Catalunya to take his points total for the season to 26 after a race-long battle with teammate Ralf Schumacher. The pair could barely be separated all afternoon but Jarno ended up edging home for his third podium finish of 2005. The result consolidates his second place in the world championship.
"This was one of the best races of my career because I really had to fight for the whole of the race to keep ahead of Ralf. Ralf was very quick and probably today he deserved a podium as well as me. But I had a different strategy because my set-up meant that I was quicker with more fuel and a bit slower with less fuel in the car. It meant I had to push really hard throughout, even through the pitstops. I had a problem with the fuel rig at my first stop but in the end everything worked fine so it was a great feeling to finish on the podium again. Toyota has been doing a great job and I can't thank the team enough for the equipment they are giving me."
MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU
Ralf Schumacher had a fine drive on his way to an eventual 4th place in today's Spanish Grand Prix. He ran with his nose under team-mate Jarno Trulli's gearbox for two-thirds of the race before finishing a fraction of a second behind.
The result moves him up to equal 4th in the championship with 14 points.
"That was a long, hard race. It's great to score so many points again and in general the race went well. I gained a place at the start and kept pushing throughout the afternoon. Unfortunately I lost ground on Jarno in the first pitstops and from then on I had to push him all the way. It was a busy race but I had no real problems with the car or tyres, so I'm happy with the way it went. It's great for the team that we have brought home 11 points between us today."
After taking 3rd and 4th places at today's Spanish Grand Prix, Panasonic Toyota Racing has kept hold of second place in the constructors' championship. Both drivers performed strongly and the team's third podium in four races is another cause for celebration.
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"We're very happy to have made the podium successfully yet again, so I would like to congratulate both drivers for their excellent performances today. Either of them could have come away with the podium, but both earned a lot of points for Toyota. So it was a good race and a good day for the team all round. The reliability of the engine, chassis and transmission was perfect for both cars. So congratulations are due to the aerodynamics department and the manufacturing department, particularly composites, at TMG. It was an almost trouble-free race. We had a bit of a moment at Jarno's first pitstop when some fuel caught fire, but there was no damage to the car. We had been concerned about tyre wear before the race but it was effectively no issue at all. A good day, then, but we still finished behind two of our competitors so we still have a long way to go. Now we have to keep pushing."