Panasonic Toyota Racing is celebrating its first points finish for six races after Jarno Trulli took 8th place in today’s action-packed Brazilian Grand Prix. On a punishingly hot day in Sao Paulo, air temperatures were in the mid-thirties and the track topped 60° Celsius. Jarno made a solid start from 8th position and was up as high as 4th midway through the race on his three-stop strategy. He then battled hard all the way to a valuable point for the team, which secured 6th place in the constructors’ championship as a result. Ralf Schumacher had more to do, starting from 15th and clashing with another car at the first corner. He nonetheless pushed hard on a two-stop strategy on his way to 11th place. As it is his last race for Toyota, Ralf was this morning presented with a farewell gift as a sign of appreciation for all his hard work over the last three years. The race team will now have a well-earned break following a long season of hard work. Toyota is next scheduled to ret urn to the track at the first winter test at Barcelona on November 13 as it begins preparations for the 2008 F1 season.
Qualifying Classification 8th Time: 1m 13.195s (+1.264s in Q3) Grid: 8th
"I am happy because we finished the season with our first finish in the points for a long time. I have been trying hard for many races without luck and finally today things went more smoothly. We all had a battle with the tyres today. We took the gamble to go for a three-stop strategy and in the end 8th position was quite a good result. It is also good for the motivation of the team as we head into the winter. I would like to thank everyone because it has been a hard season but we never gave up. That is the most important thing because we have to look ahead to the future, to improve the car and the performance. I believe we have the potential and next year I think we can bounce back up the grid. This was my last race with Ralf as a team-mate. We’ve had a fair and competitive battle over three years and we’ve worked together to develop the team. Now I wish him all the best for the future."
Qualifying Classification 15th Time: 1m 13.315s (+1.154s in Q2) Grid: 15th
"It was a very hot day today but that wasn’t a problem and the car was good to drive. In the beginning it was a bit tough but after that it was fine. At the start of the race I was in a Toro Rosso sandwich and I lost a bit of ground. But it was a relatively good race from there. It is my last race for Toyota and for sure it is a pity to be leaving after three years. This has been a difficult season in terms of results but we tried our best and it simply didn’t work out. The team has worked really hard and we have made a lot of changes to the car during the year. It has been a pleasure to work with the whole team, both at the factory and at the races and tests. I have enjoyed my time here and I am looking forward to seeing some of the guys for a drink in the future."
Tadashi Yamashina – Team Principal
"We scored a point at the last race so we are very happy with that. Jarno did a good job and this type of race is what we have been aiming for. It is important to keep the grid position on the first lap. If we can do that, then we can do this kind of race. Unfortunately Ralf did not have such a good first lap but he too did his best and he could have made the top ten. He lost some aero parts at the first corner and he had a problem with a damaged wheelnut at his first pit stop which cost him a position. I would like to say thank you very much to Ralf for the last three years. His contribution to the team has been huge and I wish him all the best for the future. This was also the last race weekend for third driver Franck Montagny but he will continue to test for us for the rest of 2007. Of course we will use this return to the points as a springboard and we will do our best to develop the best possible car for next season."