Panasonic Toyota Racing today kicked off its preparations for the Chinese Grand Prix with a busy day of work at the Shanghai International Circuit. The two Friday practice sessions took place in warm conditions but under cloudy skies. The weather could yet play a part in the action as rain is forecast for later in the weekend. Toyota’s race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli both enjoyed a clear day of running. The team changed the car’s floor over the lunch break with positive results. Jarno ended the afternoon session with the 5th fastest time while Ralf, competing in his penultimate race for Toyota, was 7th. The engineers will now look to build on this solid start as they prepare for qualifying and Sunday’s race.
Jarno Trulli (Car 12, Chassis TF107/04)
First Session 7th 30 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 38.208s (+1.184s)
Second Session 5th 36 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 37.151s (+0.544s)
"Today went smoothly and we got through our usual programme of tyre testing and set-up. Our long run pace was consistent but we still have some problems with balance. So we need to work a little more on the data in order to find more grip and speed. We’ve had a poor run of form but now we must forget everything and concentrate on this weekend. It’s frustrating not to have scored points for such a long time so that remains the aim for this weekend and we will continue to push as hard as possible."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 11, Chassis TF107/05)
First Session 12th 23 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 38.661s (+1.637s)
Second Session 7th 32 laps completed Lap Time: 1m 37.524s (+0.917s)
"The sessions went without any problems and we were able to test everything that we had planned. The track conditions were quite slippery but overall I am happy with our progress. This is my second last race for Toyota but that does not mean that my motivation is any way affected. It’s been a hard year but the whole team remains focused on the job in hand. We will continue to push until the end of the season. I just want to finish off the last two races with as much success as possible and hopefully bring home the best possible result."
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test
"That was a positive day for us. In the afternoon session we tried out a different floor which completely changed the car behaviour in the direction that we wanted. It’s not a new floor design but it has a different characteristic that suits this circuit better. So we are pleased that the switch paid off. We have good pace on the long runs as well. Jarno put in a consistent long run and Ralf was also consistent although that was masked on the timesheets by traffic. We made it through our programme without any issues and the tyres behaved much as expected, with not a particularly large difference between them. So we are in good shape and given this form it is just a pity that we have a wet forecast for Sunday."