Panasonic Toyota Racing returns to action in the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park after the traditional Formula 1 summer break. Even though there has been an extended gap between races, the team has been working as hard as ever since the last race to prepare for this weekend. A floor update and a new front wing will be introduced on the TF107s for this race. Toyota arrives in Turkey with optimism after Ralf Schumacher’s strong 6th place at the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out. The 14-turn, 5.338km Istanbul Park is the newest race track on the calendar and is regarded as one of the most challenging, with significant elevation changes and several corners inspired by the sport’s greatest tracks. Hot weather is again expected, with temperatures of over 30°C predicted, so heat and the low grip surface of the track mean Bridgestone will bring the medium and hard compounds of their Potenza tyre this weekend. Toyota has scored points in both previous visits to Turkey and will ag ain fight to add to its tally in Sunday’s 58-lap race.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11): "Hungary was a very strong weekend for me and the team, with my best qualifying and race results of the season. We looked really competitive and had a good result so I am now looking forward to building on that performance in Turkey. The Istanbul Park is quite unusual for a modern circuit because it features a lot of elevation changes and a varied mix of corners. It’s an exciting track to drive. We have shown over the last few races that we have become more competitive and we are moving in the right direction. Our car seems to be reasonably competitive on different kinds of circuits so we are hopeful again for this weekend. It was important for the team to score points in Hungary and now we will aim to do that again in Turkey. I enjoyed the summer break but now I am ready to get back to racing."
Jarno Trulli (Car 12): "I am looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix after a relaxing break with my family. In the end it was a disappointing weekend for me in Hungary because we showed a lot of potential in practice and early in qualifying, especially when I was 3rd in Q2, but we did not get the result we hoped for. We need to work hard to improve. The Istanbul track is obviously relatively new and it’s most unique feature is Turn 8, which is a tough corner. It is a long left-hander made up of three corners which makes it a quick and very challenging part of the track. I am looking forward to the weekend and I hope we can get a decent result because we have shown if everything goes well, our car is capable of scoring points. I am aiming to keep up my good record of qualifying in the top 10 and then hopefully I can score points again."
Pascal Vasselon – Senior General Manager Chassis: "We are looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix and we are optimistic of scoring points again after Ralf’s 6th place in Hungary. In terms of the Istanbul Park circuit, it could be described as a standard new Formula 1 track if it were not for Turn 8. This is a really outstanding corner, which is very demanding physically for the drivers and also for the tyres. For this reason, Bridgestone will bring the harder tyres to Turkey. Since Magny-Cours we have made a step in terms of overall performance, which you have seen from our qualifying results, and it was positive to see that translate into a race result. After the high downforce demands of Hungary, we will return to a medium downforce window which seemed to suit our car at Magny-Cours, Silverstone and the Nürburgring, so we will be looking to continue the qualifying form we have shown recently and build on Ralf’s race result in Hungary. We were pleased to be fighting with t he BMWs in Hungary so now we expect to again see our drivers challenge for the top six and hopefully get both cars in the points."