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Panasonic Toyota Racing

Bahrain Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up

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Today's Weather: Warm and sunny with gusting winds, air 25-30C, track 34-42C Toyota's Best Bahrain GP qualifying: 3rd, Jarno Trulli, 2005 Toyota's Best Bahrain GP race result: 2nd, Jarno Trulli, 2005 Take Note: Panasonic Toyota Racing's three drivers Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi put in over 900 laps of the Bahrain track during six days of testing in February

Jarno Trulli (Car 11, Chassis TF108-02)
Summary: Trouble-free day's running, P14 in the afternoon session
P1 8th Best Lap Time: 1m 33.539s (+1.306s) Laps: 27
P2 14th Best Lap Time: 1m 33.822s (+2.402s) Laps: 38

"That was a reasonable day of practice for us. The track surface was predictably dusty and slippery this morning. It was also quite windy today, with gusts from different directions in the two sessions. We were fighting with the wind and we still need to improve the car a bit in general. We tested here in February so things pretty much went as we expected today. This is a nice challenging track and I have always been pretty strong here so I am looking forward to this weekend. Our results show the car is much more competitive so it is important to keep developing it and to try to score as many points as possible."

Timo Glock (Car 12, Chassis TF108-01)
Summary: Largely smooth day of practice, ending the day in 15th place
P1 11th Best Lap Time: 1m 33.929s (+1.696s) Laps: 28
P2 15th Best Lap Time: 1m 33.856s (+2.436s) Laps: 30

"It was a productive day and the second practice went much better than the first for me. In the morning we had some problems with stability under braking but over the break the track improved and we managed to develop the car and the set-up. The guys did a good job, we went in the right direction and the car felt better over a long run. The test here in February was positive for us. The question mark for the weekend is that it is likely to be windy. If the wind is very heavy it could be a problem, but it is the same for everyone."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test "Overall we're happy with the day's work. We had only one minor problem on Timo's car early in the afternoon session which we were able to fix quickly. Apart from that we went through our programme. Concerning tyres, we have a clear picture on what we have to do even though we weren't supplied with the option compound during our winter test here. The conditions were also different today to what we saw in February. We expected the wind to be an issue and it is looking stronger for tomorrow and Sunday so that will have an effect. Nevertheless we will push hard as always to come away with another strong result."

Panasonic Toyota Racing, featuring... Life without Traction Control Supreme driving skill is a prerequisite for any F1 driver but the class of 2008 have a chance to show off their talent even more than recent years thanks to the elimination of traction control. Following the introduction of a standard electronic control unit (ECU), the first two races have already proved spectacular - with more drama sure to come this weekend.
The changes also affect the Panasonic Toyota Racing engineers who have had to adapt the set-up of the TF108 to suit the different requirements a driver has when he can no longer rely on electronics to keep the rear wheels in check. Slightly more downforce is required for optimum set-up this year, a delicate balance that is even more crucial in the desert sands.

Toyota's Head of Aerodynamics Mark Gillan says: "We need to be careful with the handling characteristic of the car particularly here in Bahrain. Overnight the wind can blow in sand, so the track starts off green. With the loss of traction control the cars are more prone to wheelspin so we need to be sure that we provide a more stable aerodynamic car."

For a full version of this feature, in text or video format, please visit the broadcast room of www.toyota-f1-world.com .
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