Panasonic Toyota Racing returns to Europe this weekend for one of the most iconic sporting events in the world, the Monaco Grand Prix. After the disappointing trip to Istanbul, where Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock both missed out on points in the Turkish Grand Prix, the team will be in the very different surroundings of Monaco harbour, where space is at a premium but glamour flows freely. The tiny Principality of Monaco first hosted Grand Prix cars in 1929 and has been a permanent fixture in the Formula 1 World Championship since 1955, with the 3.340km track having changed little in that time. As usual for the unique demands of Monaco, Toyota will bring a revised aerodynamic package designed generate the maximum possible grip around the twisty street circuit. The Monaco package was tested successfully last week at Paul Ricard as part of the three-day test in the south of France, leaving the team positive about the chances of adding to its nine Constructors' Championship points so far in 2008.
Jarno Trulli (Car 11): "Monaco is a great track, one of my favourites, and I have a fantastic souvenir from there with my win in 2004, so I enjoy this race. I like circuits where the driver's contribution is important and in Monaco the driver can really make a difference. Obviously you always need a good car and I think we have a strong car this year, as we have shown with our performances so far. As a driver this track seems very fast because the barrier is so close, even though in reality it is the slowest on the calendar. It is really important that you are precise and fully concentrating for every lap because there is no margin for error; you can so easily clip a barrier and go out of the race because of a small error. As well as the track itself, the atmosphere at Monaco is also completely unique and very special because the fans are so close and you really feel close to them when you are racing. It's an incredible venue and a race I always look forward to. Generally I have driven well at Monaco in the past so I am confident we can score more points."
Timo Glock (Car 12): "This will be my first Monaco Grand Prix so I am really looking forward to it. It is such a famous race, with so much history and emotion, that every driver wants to be there racing. I can't wait to line up on the grid, in front of all the fans and in such a legendary atmosphere - that will be really special. I know the track already, it is a personal favourite, so I know exactly what to expect; you cannot afford to make any mistakes because the guardrail is so close and you have to really focus for the entire weekend. I haven't had the results I want yet this season but Monaco would be the perfect place to score my first points for the team. As usual in Monaco, qualifying will be key because overtaking is almost impossible. I have had some pretty strong qualifying performances this year so my goal is to qualify high on the grid to give me the chance to fight for points in the race."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis: "To me, Monaco is the outstanding race of the season. You can really feel, hear and smell the cars more than at any other circuit in Formula 1 and this makes Monaco truly special. It is a real challenge for the drivers because, unlike the last tracks we have visited, in Turkey and Spain, they cannot afford to be even slightly off line so the pressure is always on. Because Monaco highlights slightly different performance factors, with engine performance and aerodynamics a bit less significant than at a more standard circuit, the driver can also make more of a difference. We will have a Monaco-spec aero package, with revised front and rear wings as well as other items, because of the high downforce required and the low average speed. In terms of set-up, really we are looking for anything which can help drivability and we are confident we will have a strong package. We didn't get the result we expected in Turkey but in general the TF108 still looks competitive and we should expect to fight for the points in Monaco."