In the wake of last week's test around Monza, Panasonic Toyota Racing came into today's first day of free practice for the Italian Grand Prix with more data than usual. That meant that the race drivers had the luxury of missing most of the morning session's running. But it was a normal Friday for third driver Ricardo Zonta, who put in his customary day of hard work on set-up and tyre choice. Zonta ended up with the fastest time in the second session with a lap of 1m20.531s, a second clear of the next fastest driver. Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher also had trouble-free afternoons, finishing with the 8th and 14th fastest times respectively.
Following last week's test here, Jarno Trulli was able to skip most of the morning session at his home race. But he had a trouble-free afternoon and will now look for points over the weekend.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/07)
First Session Classification: 24th, 1 lap completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 8th, 22 laps completed Lap Time: 1m22.278s (+1.747s)
"After the test here last week, we feel quite prepared for the weekend, so we were able to run slightly less than usual. The challenge at Monza is to find a compromise between straightline speed and grip. We didn't look particularly quick at the test so it could be a tough weekend but the car felt okay today so we'll do our best to score points."
LES IS MO
Ralf Schumacher also had a quieter morning than usual because of the data collected last week. But he was happy with his afternoon's work around Monza.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/05) First Session Classification: 25th, 1 lap completed No lap time Second Session Classification: 14th, 18 laps completed Lap Time: 1m23.126s (+2.595s)
"That was a trouble-free day for us, and we completed all the work we needed for the weekend. We were able to miss most of the morning session because of the data we collected at our test here at Monza last week. But it has all gone well so far, and the balance felt okay today. We will be putting in our usual efforts for a points finish on Sunday."
Ricardo Zonta had his usual busy day, finishing up quickest in the second session for the third Friday in a row.
Ricardo Zonta (Car 38, Chassis TF105/02) First Session Classification: 6th, 25 laps completed Lap Time: 1m22.567s (+2.366s) Second Session Classification: 1st, 28 laps completed Lap Time: 1m20.531s (Fastest)
"I wasn't quite happy with the car in the morning because it was difficult to get any grip. The track wasn't particularly dirty and it was similar to last week's test. But we improved the car a lot for the second practice. We found something good on the tyres, too. We know that this could be a difficult track for us, but we've made good progress today."
The Panasonic Toyota Racing team will spend the evening analysing the data from today's first two practice sessions around this historic circuit, based in the middle of the Parco di Monza.
Dieter Gass – Chief Race Engineer
"That was quite a positive day, and it's always good to have a car on top of the timesheets in one of the sessions. We were obviously here testing for three days last week, so like many other teams we didn't do that much running today because we already had most of the information we needed. Today we were just confirming some of those results. But we were quite happy with what we learned today and we have plenty of data to make our tyre choice."