Panasonic Toyota Racing braved heat and humidity on the opening day of a three-day test at Sepang, the venue for next month’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Under the 2007 testing agreement, teams are only allowed to use one car at tests during the season so Franck Montagny was the sole Toyota driver in action today. However, even with just one car, the team was still kept busy as Franck tried out many different set-ups in preparation for the Malaysian race. After a solid start to the season with eighth and ninth respectively for Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli in Australia, the team is also pushing for more performance from the TF107 and Franck made progress on that front in the morning. However, a drive train failure just before lunchtime caused Franck to stop on the circuit and he lost time in the afternoon as repairs were carried out. He was back on the track to continue set-up comparisons later in the afternoon and that work will be continued by Ralf Schumacher tomorrow.
Franck Montagny - Chassis TF107/03
Best Lap Time: 1min 37.260s
Total laps: 74
Total distance: 410.182km
"It was not a bad day today, even if we did have a little problem when I stopped out on the circuit. It took a little bit of time to resolve that but in general the car is looking quite good at the moment. We worked on different set-ups with these tyres and I think we are making good progress. Now we just have to work more on our set-ups to be sure we are going in the right direction. I am pretty content with the car on this track and in the hot weather, it is very drivable and there are no major problems."
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
"Today was a mixed start to our test at Sepang. The conditions here are very different to those we experienced in our pre-season tests in Europe but the team has adapted and we were able to do some useful work in the morning. Obviously, with the Malaysian Grand Prix so soon after this test, we concentrated mainly on finding a set-up for our car on this track. As well as that, we are continually pushing for more performance and today we got more information which should help us. We lost some time with the drive train failure early in the afternoon and that took a while to repair. But the team worked hard to get the car back on track, despite the tough weather conditions, and we resumed our programme in the afternoon."