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Panasonic Toyota Racing

Chinese Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up

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Today's Weather: Cloudy but dry. Air 24-26°C, track 23-31°C Toyota's Best Chinese GP qualifying: 6th Ralf Schumacher 2007 Toyota's Best Chinese GP race result: 3rd Ralf Schumacher 2005 Take Note: This race is the last time in 2008 that teams will use Bridgestone's hardest compound tyre

Jarno Trulli (Car 11, Chassis TF108-05)
Summary: A smooth day of practice with the 4th quickest time of the afternoon
P1 18th Best Lap Time: 1m 38.219s (+2.589s) Laps: 24
P2 4th Best Lap Time: 1m 36.159s (+0.409s) Laps: 32 "It was a good, productive day for us. In general the car seems to be behaving well. We tested several things, both mechanically and aerodynamically, and we made some good progress on set-up and balance. We also did some long runs which will help us to understand about the behaviour of the different tyre compounds. Everything went smoothly so I am happy. Now we will keep pushing to get the most out of these last two races and bring as many points away as we can."

Timo Glock (Car 12, Chassis TF108-07)
Summary: Found it hard to find the right balance during the two sessions of practice
P1 16th Best Lap Time: 1m 37.664s (+2.034s) Laps: 29
P2 11th Best Lap Time: 1m 36.615s (+0.865s) Laps: 33 "Both sessions were a bit tricky for me because I've found the car quite difficult to drive today. I haven't found the right direction to go yet in terms of set-up and it has been hard to find the right balance. But we will work hard on the information we collected today and try to make an improvement for tomorrow. I know this track from 2004 when I raced here for Jordan, I've been impressed with the reaction of the fans here and now we must look to get a good result."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test "Overall I'm really happy with the day. It was a very similar Friday to what we had last weekend in Fuji where we were performing well. Again, we did some basic work on both cars in P1 which set us up well for P2 and the rest of the weekend. The track evolved but not as much as usual here in Shanghai and we were able to gather a lot of information on the tyres. We had no major problems and we're obviously in good shape on car performance. Timo was struggling a bit more than Jarno with an inconsistent balance but we are confident that we can improve his situation for tomorrow. Now we can look strongly to the weekend and try to improve on what we saw in the race in Fuji."

Panasonic Toyota Racing, featuring... Electric Avenue: The Role of Electronics in Formula 1 A Formula 1 car would clearly be useless without tyres, a chassis or an engine - but without electronic wizardry, it would not even leave the garage. An electronic control unit (ECU) monitors and manages all the TF108's electrical systems. This device is fundamental to simply starting the engine, let alone getting the best possible performance. "The ECU in the car is like the nerve centre for your body," says Ludwig Zeller, Senior Manager Electric and Electronic at Panasonic Toyota Racing. "It controls all the functions. If you removed the electronics, you could look at the car; you could push the car but nothing else."
Formula 1's electronic rules became stricter at the start of 2008 when a standard ECU was introduced, greatly reducing the freedom given to Toyota's electronics experts. But that does not mean the specialists in Cologne have an easy life this season, far from it. Senior General Manager Engine Luca Marmorini adds: "You never stop learning how an ECU works because each time you need to check the reaction of your driver and your car and tune all your parameters to do the best job."
For the full feature, in text or video format, please visit the broadcast room of www.toyota-f1-world.com.
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