Panasonic Toyota Racing suffered a disappointing result in the Turkish Grand Prix with Ralf Schumacher finishing 12th and Jarno Trulli 16th at Istanbul Park. Jarno's good qualifying effort gave him 9th on the grid but Ralf had it all to do from 16th. Jarno's race soon became much more difficult when he was nudged into a spin by Giancarlo Fisichella at turn one, dropping him to the back of the field. However, he fought hard to recover ground and made up five places in six laps before getting caught in traffic prior to his first pit stop on lap 20. Ralf was also involved in a tight battle in the midfield, although his one-stop strategy meant he had a fuel-heavy car for the first half of the race. He made his one and only stop on lap 32 to switch to the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres. With Jarno, the team opted for two stops and he took on more fuel and medium tyres on lap 44. Both drivers continued to push and Jarno made up a further place before the chequered flag.
The team is in action again immediately with a three-day test in Monza, starting on Tuesday, where preparations will begin for the low-downforce demands of the Italian Grand Prix.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
Race Classification: 12th Tyres Used: Hard, medium
Qualifying Classification: 18th Time: 1m 28.809s (+1.515s) Grid: 16th
"I am not really happy with the result. I think we had the speed, but I couldn't really push early in the race and the car was not ideal with the hard tyres, so I lost a bit of time. Also, because I was on a one-stop strategy my car was very heavy and that made it hard to push earlier in the race. But it was the right strategy as it was very difficult from where we were on the grid. As we have seen on Friday, we have decent race speed and when I was in clear air my pace was not so bad in the end. My lap times got better towards the end of the race and they were actually quite good. If our result in qualifying had been better we would have been able to score points. We can definitely expect to fight for points in the remaining races, starting at Monza in two weeks."
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/04)
Race Classification: 16th Tyres Used: Hard, hard, medium
Qualifying Classification: 9th Time: 1m 28.740s (+1.411s) Grid: 9th
"We had the opportunity to get a better result but that is racing. It was a shame because the car was well balanced throughout the race and this is thanks to the hard work back at the factory. There was no clear lap for me to show my potential but the feeling of the car was good. The start went well but unfortunately at the first corner Fisichella hit me at the back and I lost a lot of positions. These things can happen. After that I overtook many cars and I had a lot of battles but when you end up at the back it is so difficult to catch up. With our strategy we were hoping to challenge for points but after the first lap that was clearly not possible. Now I will try to forget this race and focus on my home race in Monza. I enjoy racing in Italy so I hope we can get a better result there."
Tadashi Yamashina – Team Principal
"We expected a much better result this weekend because we had some new parts on the car thanks to the hard work of the team at the factory. The weekend started quite well and should have finished quite well. Our cars spent most of the race in traffic. With Ralf, due to his starting position, we went to a one-stop strategy and this was the decision we had to take in order to gain some positions. It worked to an extent but Ralf was stuck behind slower cars for too long at the start of the race. For Jarno you can see what happened, he got hit by Fisichella and that was it – he went to the back of the field and stayed stuck in traffic. He had almost no laps in free air. In these hot conditions both drivers got to the end of the race and that is the only thing we are happy about. We must analyse what happened over the weekend. For the next race, at Monza, we will push hard again and hope for a better result."