Panasonic Toyota Racing hit the track in preparation for the United States Grand Prix with two free practice sessions on another hot and sunny day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli enjoyed a trouble-free day of practice as they compared various set-up options for the unusual demands of the Speedway, which features a banked final corner unique in Formula 1. Ralf and Jarno wasted no time putting their TF107s to the test at the home of American motorsport and, thanks to perfect reliability, they were able to gather a lot of useful information. Both drivers took the opportunity to extensively try out the soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres in the second session but the team focused on race pace rather than speed over one lap, meaning Ralf was classified 20th with Jarno 17th. The team will now work hard to analyse the data from both sessions before tomorrow’s final practice and qualifying sessions.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
13th 27 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m 13.819s (+1.894s)
20th 39 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m 13.765s (+1.609s)
"It was a pretty difficult session for us. It was very slippery out there and there was not a lot of grip. That was partly down to the track conditions and they did improve as the day went on. It’s difficult to tell where we really are because it’s only Friday. Still we have some work to do overnight. We tried several different options with our set-up and now we have to look at the results from today so we can get the maximum from the car in qualifying and the race. It was positive to get through both sessions without any problems with the car because we were able to make good use of the three hours of track time. We are working hard for tomorrow and I am looking forward to it."
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/06)
11th 32 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m 13.777s (+1.852s)
17th 42 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m 13.692s (+1.536s)
"That was a difficult session for me today. I found the car quite difficult because there was very low grip in general, as usual here at Indianapolis. We did quite a lot of laps and we tried out different options, as well as both kinds of tyres, but we have to work hard now to find a bit more speed in the car before qualifying and the race. It was positive we did not have any mechanical problems on the car today and we were able to do all the work we planned. I’ve always had very good races here at Indianapolis so we will now try to get the best out of the car for qualifying and get another good result."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test
"It was not an easy day today again. Both drivers were struggling a lot with the lack of grip, especially in the beginning of the sessions due to the track conditions. The circuit did improve throughout the day but generally l ow grip is common here because you have to run low downforce to get top speed on the straight which penalises you in the infield. That makes it quite difficult for the drivers. On a positive note we ran through our extensive programme without any problems on the car so tonight we are going to look at the data and find the best compromise for the car tomorrow. I don’t think it is as bad as it looks on the time sheets because you have to consider what programmes other teams were running. We were working on set-up and race preparations rather than setting lap times today."