Panasonic Toyota Racing has today scored its debut podium position after a "Trulli" outstanding drive from Jarno ensured he comfortably ended the gruelling 56-lap race in 2nd position. A determined drive from Ralf Schumacher, not without its dramas, made it two cars in the top five, a total of 12 world championship points and 2nd place in the constructors' championship.
DRIVEN TO PERFECTION
Jarno Trulli today drove a remarkable and competitive race to secure Panasonic Toyota Racing's first visit to the podium in 53 races. Jarno drove an outstanding race and matched the pace of the race-winning Renault team. Jarno's qualifying time was only bettered by Fernando Alonso, who stopped one lap before the Toyota driver, underlining the sheer competitiveness of the TF105 package this weekend.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/03)
Race Classification: 2nd
Gap: +24.327 (from race winner)
Aggregate Qualiying Classification: 2nd
Agg Time: 3m07.925s (+0.253s)
"I had an excellent start and was easily keeping my second position behind Fernando and extending my lead over Giancarlo. From there, I had an absolutely trouble-free race and could control those cars behind me. I want to thank everyone in the Toyota team and all the engineers, mechanics both here and in Cologne for giving the car with which I could score Toyota's first ever podium finish. It was a great result and I am sure the start of even greater things to come. It was a real challenge this weekend with the tyre and engine regulations, as well as the extreme heat which makes it tough for the drivers. Luca Marmorini and his team have done an absolutely exceptional job on the engine and we had no reliability issues in either of the first two races this season."
Ralf Schumacher helped make it a day to remember for Toyota after bringing his TF105 home in fifth position and picking up four championship points in a difficult race for the German.
"This is a wonderful result for the team. First and foremost I am happy for my team-mate, but also for myself. I think it was a good, but difficult race for me. I could not overtake for the first ten laps and then I had either heavy graining or blistering. After that, I had the get together with Webber after which my car was aerodynamically affected, causing some big vibrations. I am happy to have finished the race altogether and I am pleased to have contributed to our double points-finish today to take us to second in the championship."
JUST FOR STARTERS
Toyota is one of only two teams on the grid to have built its entire car from scratch in the same factory, but the only to do this in such a short space of time. In today's Malaysian Grand Prix, the team celebrates the first podium in its short F1 history - undoubtedly the first of many.
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"It has been four years of preparation and three years of racing for Toyota to achieve this fantastic result. The style in which we did it was even more rewarding. I would like to firstly extend my thanks to the drivers, everyone at Toyota Motorsport, Toyota Motor Corporation and the team's sponsors whose invaluable support made this result possible. We have experienced so many challenges this weekend in terms of the technical regulation changes for the season. I am especially pleased that our engine has completed eight free practice sessions, four qualifying sessions and two demanding races without any issues. Toyota always rises to the technical challenge and this has been no exception. This is how racing can be done and should be done. We know have to consolidate this result, but I will happily take this for starters."