Panasonic Toyota Racing began its preparations for the Spanish Grand Prix with three hours of Friday practice under sunny skies at the Circuit de Catalunya. Last week’s test at the same Barcelona track was interrupted by rain on two days out of four but track temperatures today approached 50° Celsius. Similar good weather is expected to continue for the rest of the race weekend. The test here gave most teams a head start on set-up but there was still work to do today. Race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli had a productive morning and set quick times. But the afternoon was disrupted by mechanical problems and the pair ended the second session with the 17th and 18th fastest times respectively. The team will now analyse the data collected as it prepares for tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
First Session 8th 23 laps completed Lap Time:
1m 22.843s (+0.963s)
Second Session 17th 28 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.219s (+1.822s)
"We had a good morning but we had some mechanical problems during the second session that we needed to sort out before we could continue our programme. That cost us a bit of time but generally we went through most of our plan and looked at the things we wanted to. So in the end it was not much of a problem and hopefully we will have a good day tomorrow. We had a positive test here last week and I made some progress with setting up the car to my liking. It seems to be working well again so I remain hopeful of an improvement."
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/04)
First Session 7th 28 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 22.740s (+0.860s)
Second Session 18th 42 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.307s (+1.910s)
"That was a solid day’s work but as usual at Barcelona the wind made things difficult out there. All the teams have made a big effort for the first European race so this weekend we’ll g et a clearer idea of what direction the championship is taking. Barcelona is a good reference circuit and our car behaved well at last week’s test here. But everyone was running different programmes today so we will have to wait for tomorrow to find out where we all stand. I hope we can continue our run of good results and make the points again."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test
"Like most teams we have come here with a major aerodynamic upgrade including new wings, engine cover and floor. We had quite a promising session this morning, making it very smoothly through our programme and setting some competitive lap times. But we struggled a bit in the afternoon session with both cars. This is partly because we were concentrating on long run preparation for the race but we also had some mechanical issues on the car which we have to look into. Nevertheless, we have collected all the data we need about the tyres and based on our morning performance we are confident for the rest of the weekend."