Panasonic Toyota Racing today made a positive start to its preparations for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. On a dry and sunny day at Interlagos, Toyota's race drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher both had trouble-free days of practice. The team's Brazilian third driver Ricardo Zonta enjoyed his return home, putting in 65 laps over the course of a busy Friday and ending the second session with the third fastest time. Toyota is hoping for more points this weekend in order to close the gap on the top three in the constructors' championship.
Jarno Trulli believes the outcome of the Brazilian Grand Prix could still hinge on what the skies bring on Sunday.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/07)
First Session Classification: 15th, 6 laps completed Lap Time: 1m14.504s (+2.803s) Second Session Classification: 9th, 26 laps completed Lap Time: 1m13.493s (+1.410s)
"I enjoy driving here because Interlagos is a technical circuit, but there was not much grip out there today. This was one of the two races I did for Toyota last year and even with the old car we went pretty well, finishing just outside the points. We would obviously like to do better this time but this weekend could still be decided by the weather. Rain remains a possibility so that will be the determining factor for our decisions for qualifying and the race."
Ralf Schumacher spent Friday working on set-up and tyre choice for the weekend on the slippery Interlagos track.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/05) First Session Classification: 11th, 6 laps completed Lap Time: 1m13.788s (+2.087s) Second Session Classification: 18th, 20 laps completed Lap Time: 1m14.427s (+2.344s)
"We had no particular problems as we completed our usual programme of work today, but it was a struggle to find any grip because it was so slippery. The track was pretty dirty this morning but it improved during the day so we will have to look carefully at the data tonight. We will be hoping for another strong points finish on Sunday so that we can close the gap to Ferrari in the constructors' championship."
Ricardo Zonta had a busy return to Brazil, recording the 3rd fastest time of the second session despite hitting traffic.
Ricardo Zonta (Car 38, Chassis TF105/02) First Session Classification: 10th, 29 laps completed Lap Time: 1m13.573s (+1.872s) Second Session Classification: 3rd, 36 laps completed Lap Time: 1m12.706s (+0.623s)
"The Interlagos circuit is not as bumpy as it used to be, but you certainly feel the bumps in the medium-fast corners which can throw the car off line. As usual here the asphalt was very dirty in the morning, so the grip level was very low. That meant that it was impossible to push hard and very difficult to draw any conclusions with tyres. It improved in the afternoon so we have some data to work with. We could have gone quicker but I hit traffic on my runs with new tyres."
SAO FAR SAO GOOD
Toyota is on course for another positive weekend after today's practice sessions for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Dieter Gass – Chief Race Engineer
"That was quite a typical Friday practice session for us. We tried to get as much data as possible about the tyres from Ricardo. The choice doesn't seem to be straightforward so we will really have to look carefully at the data tonight. Apart from that we had no real problems. Ralf is not yet happy because he was struggling to find grip while Jarno was more satisfied. Unfortunately Ricardo couldn't find a clear lap on new tyres or he would have gone even quicker."