Panasonic Toyota Racing
German Grand Prix - Preview
Panasonic Toyota Racing enjoys a home race this weekend when Formula 1 returns to Hockenheim for the first German Grand Prix since 2006. The track is just two hour's drive south from the team's technical centre in Cologne, and even closer to Timo Glock's family home in the Odenwaldkreis region. This weekend's race will be the 26-year-old's first German Grand Prix but Hockenheim is familiar hunting ground for a driver who rose through the domestic German racing ranks. Timo won his last race at Hockenheim, in GP2 in 2006, and both he and team-mate Jarno Trulli are expecting to fight for points this weekend. The team enjoyed a successful test at Hockenheim last week, establishing baseline set-ups for the German Grand Prix as well as trying out various aerodynamic upgrades. After moving into fourth in the Constructors' Championship thanks to Jarno's seventh place at Silverstone, Toyota aims to strengthen its hold on that position at Hockenheim.
Jarno Trulli (Car 11): "Hockenheim has changed a lot since I first raced there in Formula 1, when it was all about top speed. I personally preferred the old long circuit, with the extremely fast straights in the forest, but the new version is still quite interesting and there are opportunities to overtake. We had a promising test last week at Hockenheim which was very useful because we have not raced there for two years and we had the chance to study set-ups and tyre behaviour. That was the first time we have used the current Bridgestone Potenza tyres at Hockenheim and it was important to understand their characteristics at this circuit. We made good progress with some new aero parts and hopefully this track will suit our car. I have finished in the points for the last three races which shows how competitive we are at the moment, so my target this weekend is to again score points and fight for the top six. I am optimistic as usual."
Timo Glock (Car 12): "Hockenheim is one of my favourite circuits. It is only 45 minutes away from where I grew up so it is my home race. That means I will have friends and family coming down to watch me so it will be a special race for me and I hope it will be a successful one. Usually I have good races at Hockenheim and I've won a few times, which is another reason why I enjoy racing there so much! To have a good race there it is important to have strong top speed but there is also the last sector where there are slower corners, so you have to find the right balance. In the end I think it is a good mix of different corners and it's a fun track to drive. It was disappointing not to score points in difficult conditions at Silverstone because the opportunity was there but I am not downhearted; in fact I am really looking forward to this race and I expect to have a good weekend. It is important to me to perform well at my home race and I'm feeling good."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis: "The new Hockenheim circuit is more average in terms of its characteristics than the previous lay-out. The braking energy is in the middle of the range and the downforce level is now medium to medium-high. What is normally above average is the temperature and that is what is responsible for the tyre blistering that we have sometimes seen. The ambient and track temperatures are often extremely high and I'd say that is the only real outstanding characteristic. This will be the first time that we have been to Hockenheim with the current tyres. Bridgestone's choice of the two hardest compounds in the range is conservative because Hockenheim is a medium severity track, a little like Magny-Cours. We are expecting a level of performance more in keeping with our display at Magny-Cours than Silverstone. That means we are hoping to be near the front again. Actually, Magny-Cours and Hockenheim are now very similar in terms of car configuration so we are expecting to go well."
For a video and text feature called Home Run for Timo: Looking Forward to Hockenheim, please visitwww.toyota-f1-world.com. This feature focuses on Timo Glock ahead of his home Grand Prix, including exclusive interviews with Timo, Dieter Gass, Francesco Nenci and Gerard Lecoq.