Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing

French Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up

Today's Weather: Cloudy but dry. Air 18-23°C, track 17-46°C Toyota's Best French GP qualifying: 2nd Jarno Trulli 2005 Toyota's Best French GP race result: 4th Ralf Schumacher 2006 Take Note: In tribute to former Team Principal Ove Andersson, who died last week, team members are wearing black armbands while the TF108 features a black band. A book of condolences that will be presented to Ove's family is available at the Toyota motorhome for anyone in the paddock to sign.

Jarno Trulli (Car 11, Chassis TF108-05)
Summary: 12th fastest in the afternoon after a full day of running
P1 7th Best Lap Time: 1m 16.758s (+1.452s) Laps: 32
P2 12th Best Lap Time: 1m 16.743s (+0.965s) Laps: 43

"Today we made it through a lot of work on tyres and set-up and the car felt good in general. It has been hot so the track conditions were changing a lot over the course of the two sessions. We still have to solve some set-up issues in order to find more speed as the car's handling is crucial here. The track surface is very dark and it is quickly affected by the sun so it can suddenly become very slippery. You have to prevent that and figure out what balance you might end up with in the race. But Toyota has generally been competitive here so I hope we can do well this weekend."

Timo Glock (Car 12, Chassis TF108-06)
Summary: Struggled to get the most out of the tyres, taking 15th in the afternoon session
P1 10th Best Lap Time: 1m 16.886s (+1.580s) Laps: 31
P2 15th Best Lap Time: 1m 17.092s (+1.314s) Laps: 39

"That was a difficult start to the weekend. The tyres are just not working for me at the moment and that makes the car very difficult to drive. I can't get the peak out of the tyres for the first lap so I am not getting the lap time, then I get massive graining and a big drop-off. So we have work to do but I remain hopeful. After our good result in Montreal, we had a positive test last week in Barcelona and collected data in all areas aimed at improving the car both mechanically and aerodynamically. We'll have to see how much progress the other teams have made but we should aim to score points."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test "We ran through our complete programme without any issues at all, so that was a productive day for us. The main areas we focused on were tyres and the level of downforce that we want to run in the race. By the second session the track was already in quite good shape. So the data on the tyres was representative and that should give us enough to make our decisions for the race on Sunday. Jarno put in a good, consistent, long run in the afternoon and while we still have to work on the set-up for both drivers, we collected all the information that we needed."

Panasonic Toyota Racing, featuring... Fit to Win: Staying in Shape for Formula 1 Formula 1 drivers may do their work sitting down but without supreme fitness their job would be impossible due to forces of up to 5G under braking and in high-speed corners. For a typical person, these forces are almost unimaginable and the nearest most will come is on the most extreme, white-knuckle rollercoaster. But while we are just passengers for a minute, an F1 driver must push to the limit for up to two hours at a time. Toyota's Timo Glock expains: "You have a heartbeat average of 170 over an hour and a half and you never see that in another sport."

But it is not just physical fitness that is important. To drive a 350km/h car at the very limit for a race distance requires immense concentration and mental strength. "The brain is just like a muscle and you can train it," says Toyota doctor Riccardo Ceccarelli, who has developed simulations to help the drivers prepare mentally and hone their reactions. Jarno Trulli uses these techniques, adding: "It's all about keeping concentration and trying to be fit and concentrated for a race distance. I can easily do the exercises at home or even during the Grand Prix weekend using my computer."
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