Panasonic Toyota Racing will leave Istanbul with yet more points after Jarno Trulli took a well earned 6th place at today's inaugural Turkish Grand Prix. On a warm but cloudy day at the Istanbul Park, Jarno battled hard throughout the race on his way to three world championship points. Ralf Schumacher had a dramatic day after the most unfortunate of starts. The German was pushed wide as he tried to avoid an incident at the first corner and he then ran over debris as he rejoined the circuit. He nonetheless managed to work his way up from the back of the field to an eventual 12th place. The result consolidates Toyota's 4th place in the constructors' championship with a total of 71 points.
TURKEY TO SUCCESS
Jarno Trulli has secured another points finish after taking the flag in 6th place at today's first ever Turkish Grand Prix. The three points take him to 5th in the world championship with 39 points.
"After a few months of bad luck and disappointing races, it's good to have a normal race again at last. I made a good start and I pushed to the limit at the beginning and throughout the race. I lost quite a bit of time in traffic during the race but other than that everything went well. I personally had a very strong race so it's good to be back where I ought to be. I always expected to be behind the two McLarens and the two Renaults, and the BAR has also shown good pace this weekend. So I'm really satisfied with our weekend's work and happy to come away with three points."
Ralf Schumacher had a dramatic start to his Turkish Grand Prix when he was pushed off the circuit at the first corner. But he still managed to claw his way through the field to an eventual 12th place.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/05) Race Classification: 12th
Gap: +1 lap (from race winner)
Qualifying Classification: 9th
Time: 1m 28.594s (+1.797s)
"I had the worst possible start when I was pushed wide trying to avoid an incident at the first corner and I found myself at the back of the field. So I basically lost it all then. Then I ran over Massa's front wing as I rejoined the track, so this was always going to be a tough struggle for me. Luckily my car was okay and I kept pushing all the way to the flag. Towards the end I was chasing Villeneuve but there was no way past. All in all an unlucky day, which is a pity for the team because the pace was there and we could easily have scored points today."
NO RESTING ON ISTANBUL LAURELS
It was a hard day's work for the whole Panasonic Toyota Racing team, but the three points earned by Jarno Trulli's three points strengthen the team's grip on 4th place in the constructors' championship.
Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal
"We were able to bring home both cars with no technical problems, but we were short of outright race pace. Our lap times were reasonable but a long way behind the top teams. So with the performance we had today, we couldn't really expect a lot more. Both drivers did well and pushed as hard as the car would let them go. Still, we got three points from Jarno and the teams we are fighting with in the constructors' championship didn't pick up any points, so that's good news. But I hope we can make more steps forward for the remaining races of the season."