Panasonic Toyota Racing today began its preparations for the Italian Grand Prix with a busy day of work at Monza. Last week's test at the circuit in the Parco di Monza was disrupted by rain and the track was again green for the start of today's action. That got better during the day and the improvements should continue because sunny weather is forecast for the whole weekend. For Toyota, Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli both enjoyed a trouble-free practice although the second session was interrupted by a red flag caused by a car in a dangerous position. Jarno ended the afternoon with the 11th fastest time while Ralf was 12th. The team will now look to build on this solid start as it prepares for qualifying and Sunday's race.
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/04)
First Session 10th 29 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.965s (+1.519s)
Second Session 11th 39 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.919s (+1.533s)
"Monza has always been a special venue for me both for the track and for the atmosphere, especially now it is the only Italian race on the calendar. The car always feels lighter here because you run with such low downforce for the long straights. My two days of testing last week went well and we improved our set-up and braking stability. Today everything went pretty smoothly and we carried out the usual work on set-up and tyres. But we have some work to do overnight to improve the handling so I can push hard for a strong race here in front of my home fans."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
First Session 15th 20 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 24.660s (+2.214s)
Second Session 12th 29 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 23.922s (+1.536s)
"Last week's test was a bit frustrating for me because both the days of running I did were heavily disrupted by rain and the track was very green. That meant I still had plenty of work to do on the set-up of the car in the better weather we saw today. We're reasonably happy with what we achieved and we didn't have any technical problems. But it's clear that we still have a lot to do on the car side. The kerbs are a challenge for everyone but we have to find a way to get the most out of them. So we have some work to do tonight to plan for the rest of the weekend but I'm confident qualifying will look better for us tomorrow."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test
"Following our test here from a week ago there were not too many surprises concerning the handling and balance of the car. Nevertheless we did a lot of fine tuning on the set-up, mainly trying to improve the handling over the kerbs, which is important here in Monza. We also collected more data on the tyres for our race strategy. The two specifications seem to be quite similar in their behaviour and even on the first lap there is not a big difference between them. So far we seem to be a bit further down in comparison to where we were in practice in Hungary and Turkey. But we will look into the data tonight and try to make an improvement tomorrow. We have new front and rear wings and other aerodynamic modifications and we will try to make the most of our package over the rest of the weekend."