Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing

German Grand Prix – Preview

Feeling refreshed and ready to go? After a generous week's break from Formula One action, the circus will reconvene at Hockenheim this weekend for the third race out of four in July. The German Grand Prix is one of the Cologne-based Panasonic Toyota Racing team's 'home' races, so the whole company will be hoping for a strong result. Hockenheim in the summer normally ensures scorching weather, so Toyota will look to make the most of its test last week in similar conditions at Spain's Jerez. The result from the British Grand Prix earlier this month, where Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli took 8th and 9th places, means that both drivers will be starting in the middle order of qualifying on Saturday. They will then look to consolidate Toyota's 4th place in the constructors' championship with 54 points.

Jarno Trulli narrowly missed out on points at Silverstone last week. So he will be looking to increase his haul of 31 from the year as he heads to Hockenheim for round 12 of the championship.

Jarno Trulli (Car 16): "When they changed the layout of the Hockenheim circuit in 2002, they completely changed the nature of racing there. The old layout was all about low downforce and high speed, whereas we now have a medium downforce track. It is impossible to compare the two tracks because they are poles apart. But I have always enjoyed racing at Hockenheim, ever since I raced in German Formula 3, and that hasn't changed with the new circuit. It is another technical circuit. There are lots of slower corners but you need to work on set-up to get the most out of them while not losing out through the quicker sections. There is only one real passing point, at the end of the long straight, so you need to have good straightline speed in the race to make sure you don't lose out in the race. After missing out on the points at Silverstone, rest assured I will do everything for a better result."

After his points finish at Silverstone, Ralf Schumacher spent last week testing at Jerez in preparation for his home grand prix this weekend.

Ralf Schumacher (Car 17): "Hockenheim is my home Grand Prix so I would love to pick up another good result after my points in the last two races. I'm a fan of the revised track they introduced three years ago, so I'm looking forward to another race there. Losing the long straights of the old circuit is not a problem as the new layout is more interesting for both the drivers and the fans, who can now follow more of the action. There's a good passing opportunity before the hairpin and the corners in the infield don't narrow at the exit, they remain open, so you can maintain your rhythm and drive fluently. Tyre choice is critical at Hockenheim, but I spent three days at Jerez last week looking at tyres for the hot conditions we are likely to face. That was a good test so we head to the German Grand Prix hopeful of another good result."

A different proposition from the old circuit that swept through the forests, Hockenheim is now a fairly typical modern F1 circuit.

Dieter Gass – Chief Race Engineer: "The revised Hockenheimring that has been in place since 2002 is a medium-high downforce circuit but the new layout does not incorporate many unique challenging aspects and is quite similar to other circuits on the calendar. There are no especially demanding corners and although there are a few overtaking chances, into the hairpin particularly, it lacks the characteristics of its high-speed, car-breaking predecessor. Hockenheim is critical for rear tyre temperatures, so we have to be careful to avoid overheating, which can lead to oversteer. The problem is compounded by higher track temperatures, which we are likely to face during the German Grand Prix weekend. For hotter climates, we must ensure to have a tyre with enough blistering control. Reducing the pressures helps to keep the tyres cool so we must adjust the tyre pressures accordingly during the race weekend, keeping them as low as possible but always within the specified safety margins.
Hopefully we can then pick up more points at this, one of our 'home' races."