Panasonic Toyota Racing leaves Budapest with three points after Ralf Schumacher scored his best result of the season in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ralf drove a fine race to claim 6th place, with Jarno Trulli finishing 10th. After the team’s best qualifying result of the season – and penalties for other drivers – both drivers started in the top eight, with Ralf in a season-high 5th. He made a clean start and was battling for 4th before ending the opening lap in 5th, however Jarno lost several positions and dropped to 12th. Ralf fought hard to retain his position and made his first pit stop on lap 18 while Jarno’s first visit to the pits came three laps later. Tyre strategy came into play in the second half of the race and Ralf pitted for super soft Bridgestone Potentza tyres on lap 48, with Jarno doing likewise on lap 51. The team’s two-stop strategy paid off and Ralf was in the fight for 4th place before traffic cost him time and he finished a strong 6th. Formula 1 now enjoys its traditional summer break but the team will be working as hard as ever to prepare for the next race, the Turkish Grand Prix on August 26.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
Race Classification: 6th Tyres Used: Soft, Soft, Super Soft
Qualifying Classification: 6th Time: 1m 20.714s (+1.040s in Q3) Grid: 5th
"The race was great. I made a strong start and was fighting for fourth place in the first few corners. The car was really good, at the beginning it was a bit nervous but we made some front flap adjustments and then it was okay. After the first pit stops we started to see different strategies from some of the teams. We went with a two-stopper and I think we made the right decision. It was a shame we lost quite a bit of time coming up behind Heidfeld later in the race but still three points is good for the team. We need them and now we are looking good for the rest of the season. It’s my best result of the season so I am happy."
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/06)
Race Classification: 10th Tyres Used: Soft, Soft, Super Soft
Qualifying Classification: 9th Time: 1m 21.206s (+1.532s in Q3) Grid: 8th
"That was a disappointing race because we had looked competitive this weekend. It was very difficult for me after the start because again it was bad. I lost a lot of positions and from there I couldn’t really do anything because it is so hard to overtake on this circuit. I was just stuck in traffic. We tried to make up some positions with our strategy and when I was in clear air my lap times improved so I moved up a bit. However, you cannot do too much on this track. The final stint was quite difficult on the option tyre but at that stage there was not much we could do to improve our position. We have work to do before the next race."
Tadashi Yamashina – Team Principal
"Today we had a very solid race and Ralf was able to score points, which is good. Ideally we hoped for a better result because we had a good race pace here. Next time we will push for that. I was a little disappointed with the result for Jarno and we will analyse what the reasons are for his problem at the start. We will try to improve. What made the race especially interesting was the tyre strategy. We were flexible between two or three stops and we had enough evidence from the first part of the race that the two stop would be better and Ralf almost got past the BMWs with that but he got held up behind Heidfeld. It was very interesting from a strategy point of view and we got it right. Today the whole team worked well and I am very proud of our pit crew’s performance. They trained a lot this weekend and I am very satisfied."