Panasonic Toyota Racing will leave Britain empty-handed following a desperately disappointing day’s work at today’s British Grand Prix. On another sunny day at Silverstone, Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli lined up in 6th and 10th places on the grid respectively. Unfortunately both cars made poor getaways from the dirty side of the grid and lost ground on the first lap, with Ralf dropping back to 8th place. He nonetheless pushed hard during the first stint but shortly after his first pit stop on lap 22 he suffered a wheel fixation problem and he was forced to retire. Jarno faced a tough afternoon’s work after struggling with balance and grip issues all weekend. He battled as far as lap 43 before the team called him in to investigate the problem. Following this disappointment the team will now regroup at Spa-Francorchamps for this week’s test. Then Toyota will look for a better result when it returns to ra cing action at the Nürburgring for the European Grand Prix in a fortnight.
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/06)
Race Classification DNF Tyre Strategy: Hard Hard Medium
Qualifying Classification 10th Time: 1m 21.240s (+1.243s in Q3) Grid: 10th
"This has been a difficult weekend for me and today was no exception. All weekend I’ve struggled with very high tyre wear compared to my team-mate. It started badly on Friday and I was unable to find a way to improve my car all weekend. So I was expecting a tough race but as it turned out the race was even worse so we need to look into the reason for that. The car was very nervous throughout and in the end the team brought me in because there was something wrong on the car which we will have to investigate. The positive thing is that Ralf was able to push and be consistent. So we must now forget this one and look forward to the next race because every grand prix is a different story. But for me it was a weekend to forget."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
Race Classification DNF Tyre Strategy: Hard Medium
Qualifying Classification 6th Time: 1m 20.516s (+0.519s in Q3) Grid: 6th
"That was a disappointing day. We retired when I had a problem with our front left wheel although we still have to investigate the exact cause. I felt the failure as I came into the complex and I had to retire straightaway. It is a pity because we looked strong all weekend and we were confident of a good result today. Unfortunately we had lost some positions at the start as well so we will need to look into that to understand why that happened. So it’s clear that the outcome is not satisfactory but the positive thing is that we were back in the top ten with both cars in qualifying. We had quite good lap times today and we were able to stay with the BMWs and the Renaults while I was in the race. So we have showed a decent performance and I’m reasonably happy with that. The fact that we were able to fight higher up will give the team an extra push as we prepare for the next race at the Nürburgring."
Tadashi Yamashina – Team Principal
"After yesterday’s strong qualifying performance we were expecting a better result in today’s race. But today the starts were everything. Our starts were simply not good enough so we must investigate again and make our best efforts to increase our pace off the line. After he dropped places Ralf was in traffic but at least his pace was reasonably competitive. Then he was forced to retire with a wheel fixation problem at the front left. Then Jarno ran into balance and grip issues which we will also have to investigate. We tried everything to understand what was going on and we pitted him early for his second stop to check the tyres and change the nose. But in the end it was not possible to change things and we called him in because his car was massively unbalanced with no grip. Of course we must now analyse everything that has gone wrong today and work hard to develop our cars further. But this was just not our race."