Panasonic Toyota Racing is celebrating yet another double points finish after a strong weekend here at the French Grand Prix. On a sweltering Sunday at Magny-Cours, Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher took 5th and 7th places in a race where passing came at a premium. Jarno spent the day fending off attacks from a number of drivers. Ralf had a quieter time, but battled hard all day on the way to his two points. The result is good news for the whole team, bringing home six points and moving Toyota back up to 4th place in the constructors' championship with 53 points.
FOUR DE FRANCE
Jarno Trulli added four points to his championship total after taking 5th place at the French Grand Prix. The Italian had to fight all day, but the result moves him up to 4th in the world championship with 31 points.
"After the miracle in qualifying yesterday, today was much harder. I made a strong start and held everyone behind me, but then I couldn't keep up the pace because the car was sliding, especially at the rear end. I was struggling for stability and traction and there was very little I could do. I kept fighting all day to keep the other cars behind me, but it was hard work because basically they were quicker than us. After the first pit stop the problem became worse, but we balanced the car better at the second stop and it was slightly better. Still, four points is a good result both for me and the team so we can go home satisfied with that."
Ralf Schumacher secured another points finish after a hard day's work around Magny-Cours. The German started 11th on the grid and worked his way up to 7th by the flag. The result leaves him 8th in the championship on 22 points.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/03) Race Classification: 7th
Gap: +1 lap (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 12th
Time: 1m15.771s (+1.359s)
"This was a good result considering where we came from at the beginning of the weekend, going out first in qualifying. We got through the whole weekend without any incidents or reliability issues, and I'm happy to be going home with two points. My car was struggling for traction and sliding a bit during the race so it was a matter of pushing as hard as possible all afternoon. The team changed my strategy from three stops to two and I was also helped out by Jacques going off near the end. It was good that we got both cars home in the points and I'd like to thank the team for all their help. I wish it could have been more but we have to be happy with this today."
BETTER ADELAIDE THAN NEVERS
Panasonic Toyota Racing has jumped back up to 4th place in the constructors' championship after a gritty day of racing around the French circuit here today saw the team end up with a haul of six points.
Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal
"We had high expectations for today's race, so I feel slightly frustrated with this result. Still, we managed to bring both cars home in the points and both drivers did well too so we can be happy with that. Both Jarno and Ralf made good starts, but our race pace wasn't as strong as we hoped because they were both struggling for rear grip, especially when the cars were heavy after the first pit stops. It was a tight call on strategy here, but we changed Ralf from three planned stops to two and he gained a place so that worked out. For him to take 7th place after going out first in qualifying was a good effort. It is a pity that we could not hold onto the podium with Jarno, but it is a sign of the progress we've made as a team that we can be slightly disappointed with both cars scoring a total of six world championship points. Still, we have a long way to go."