Panasonic Toyota Racing endured a difficult day of qualifying for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. Ralf Schumacher will line up on the fifth row of the grid tomorrow but Jarno Trulli will start outside the top ten for the first time in 2005 after an unfortunate day for the Italian. On a dry day at Interlagos, Jarno went out early and recorded the 8th fastest lap. But he will start ten places back in 18th due to a penalty for a precautionary engine change after a pneumatic leak in morning practice. It means Sunday's race will be hard work for Toyota but the team will still aim for more points to reduce the gap to the top three in the constructors' championship.
Ralf Schumacher had problems with understeer in qualifying, but he still put together a solid lap around Interlagos to take 10th place on the grid for tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/05)
First Practice Classification: 9th
Lap Time: 1m13.908s (+1.170s)
Second Practice Classification: 8th
Lap Time: 1m12.509s (+0.580s)
Qualifying Classification: 11th
Lap Time: 1m13.285s (+1.297s)
"That was a tough lap because I had a lot of understeer out there and it made it impossible to push as hard as I would have liked. The car had been going much better this morning and we will have to investigate exactly what changed between the two sessions. Overall it makes tomorrow a very hard proposition but we will do our best to improve our fortunes after what has been a very difficult weekend so far."
CHANGE OF PART
Jarno Trulli made the most of his tricky early qualifying slot to record the 8th fastest time of the day. But he will have it all to do in tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix due to a ten place penalty for a precautionary engine change this morning.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/07)
First Practice Classification: 8th
Lap Time: 1m13.869s (+1.131s)
Second Practice Classification: 13th
Lap Time: 1m13.222s (+1.293s)
Qualifying Classification: 8th
Lap Time: 1m13.041s (+1.053s)
"Our engine has been very reliable this year but this morning we had a pneumatic problem which we couldn't risk, so we had a precautionary change of engines. It's a pity that we will lose ten places as a penalty because we were going well this morning and we could have gone well again. The car was well balanced and the lap went well considering our fuel load and the fact that I had to go out relatively early because I had an accident in the last race. But tomorrow will now be very tough for me. Still, we will try our best to race hard and see what we can bring home. This is not the easiest circuit for overtaking but anything can happen."
After a difficult day for the team, Toyota will nevertheless push hard in tomorrow's race to try and bring home another points finish.
Dieter Gass – Chief Race Engineer
"That was obviously a disappointing qualifying result for us. Jarno did a good lap, but he is penalised ten places because of this morning's precautionary engine change so he'll be 18th on the grid tomorrow. Ralf had a lot of understeer in his lap, so he lost a lot of time from the lap time he was able to produce this morning. We don't understand yet what changed so we will have to look carefully at the data. Of course it will now be hard to get two cars into the points tomorrow but it's a long race and we never know what might happen."