Panasonic Toyota Racing will line up with one car in the top ten of the grid for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix after a mixed qualifying session. Following yesterday’s front suspension problems, the team investigated the cause overnight at the circuit and back in its Cologne factory. The front upright that failed had been used for two years without problems and no problem was found with the production batch. But the engineers did identify that the set-up run during yesterday afternoon’s practice could lead to interference between the upright and the wishbone under extreme circumstances. So the team reverted to a more usual set-up today and as an extra precaution it asked the drivers to avoid riding over the higher secondary kerb at turn 8. Despite missing much of the weekend’s practice Jarno Trulli did well to make it into Q3, taking 10th place on the grid. Ralf Schumacher hit traffic during his
fastest laps in Q1 and will line up in 18th place tomorrow. Now Toyota will push to make the most of these positions and come away with a strong result in tomorrow’s race.
Free Practice Session 3 14th Lap Time: 1m 17.624s (+1.553s) Laps: 17
Q1 11th Lap Time: 1m 17.324s (+0.856s) Laps: 8
Q2 10th Lap Time: 1m 16.600s (+1.114s) Laps: 6
Q3 10th Lap Time: 1m 17.747s (+2.040s) Laps: 12
"That was about as fast as I could have gone today so I’m very happy with that, even if we would have liked to be further forward. We’ve clearly been hampered by all the problems we had yesterday and the limited amount of running we had during practice. We lost a bit of time avoiding the kerb at Turn 8 but given everything that has happened we got away with a good result today. I was really pleased with my lap to get through Q2. The race is another story but this is an interesting circuit and a race where people can drop out so yo u have to hang on and make the finish. There will be a full house tomorrow so there will be a good atmosphere and we will aim for a better result."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05) PROVISIONAL GRID: 18th
Free Practice Session 3 16th Lap Time: 1m 17.748s (+1.677s) Laps: 13
Q1 18th Lap Time: 1m 17.634s (+1.166s) Laps: 8
"The whole weekend has been far from perfect for us. Yesterday’s problems meant that we could not make the most of practice. Still we expected more this afternoon but the traffic meant that I just didn’t get a clear lap and that’s all there was to it. For my last run four cars came out of the box in front of me and they were in the way. Then on the second lap I had another car in front of me the whole way round. It’s a pity because there has been potential this weekend and in yesterday’s first practice session I was able to put in some reasonable lap times. It will be a hard race but anything can happen at this circuit so we’ll do what we can to g ain some positions tomorrow."
Pascal Vasselon – Senior General Manager Chassis
"We have recovered from our lack of running in P2 yesterday but still today was our worst performance of the season in terms of pace. We have lost ground to our immediate rivals like Renault, Red Bull and Williams. Jarno did well to break into the top 10 but Ralf was unlucky. He had traffic in the last outing which is obviously the most important one after the red flag we had in Q1. It’s been a hard weekend and practice was also disrupted by a red flag this morning. Overnight we confirmed that yesterday’s suspension problem was not caused by an issue with the production batch. But in Turn 8 you have full steering lock just as you hit a big rumble strip and with the set-up we were using these extreme circumstances led to interference between the upright and the wishbone. So today we reverted to a more classical set-up window for camber, ride height and suspension stiffness. We are totally confide nt these measures have resolved the issue and made it safe to compete. But as an extra precaution we asked our drivers to change their driving line to avoid riding the highest part of the kerbs at that corner. Now we must look to make the most out of these starting positions in the race."