Panasonic Toyota Racing will head into tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix with two drivers in the top six rows of the grid after a solid performance in today's qualifying session. Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli will line up in 9th and 12th places respectively after both put in strong laps in trying conditions this afternoon. Ralf battled understeer to set his time while Jarno had to go out early in the session when the track was at its dustiest but he also held a good lap together. Toyota heads into Sunday's race holding 4th place in the constructors' championship and looking to round off the season with another points finish.
Ralf Schumacher will line up in 9th place on the grid for tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix after a strong qualifying lap.
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/09B)
First Practice Classification: 15th
Lap Time: 1m36.251s (+1.998s)
Second Practice Classification: 15th
Lap Time: 1m35.371s (+2.208s)
Qualifying Classification: 9th
Lap Time: 1m 35.723s (+1.643s)
"This weekend has been quite a hard one for us because the car has been understeering and we have been struggling for grip. We had the same feeling in qualifying so it was hard work out there. The track was dirty and slippery so the lap was very difficult with more understeer and some oversteer. The lap time was still decent but it could have been a few tenths quicker. The race will be difficult but as usual we will be pushing hard for another points finish tomorrow in a bid to finish off the season on a good note."
DUST MY LUCK
Jarno Trulli had to go out early in the session with the track at its dirtiest but he put in a decent lap to take 12th.
Jarno Trulli (Car 16, Chassis TF105/10B)
First Practice Classification: 14th
Lap Time: 1m36.100s (+1.847s)
Second Practice Classification: 11th
Lap Time: 1m35.107s (+1.895s)
Qualifying Classification: 12th
Lap Time: 1m36.044s (+1.964s)
"There wasn't a lot I could do out there today. Unfortunately I've just found the car very difficult to drive all weekend. Yesterday we suffered from understeer and a lack of grip and those problems continued into this morning's practice sessions. In qualifying the track had changed a lot from this morning and it was very dusty and slippery for me going out so early. Those are the kind of conditions in which we have struggled the most. Tomorrow's another day and I will just do my best to gain ground in the race. If we can end the season in the points it would be a good result."
In the wake of today's qualifying session, Toyota will push to round off the season with a double points finish.
Mike Gascoyne – Technical Director Chassis "That was a reasonable result for the team after a good effort by the drivers. It's been a difficult day with a lack of grip and the drivers were struggling to find a balance with the car. That, combined with the fact that Jarno had to go out so early, means that given the strategy we have we can be reasonably pleased with our grid positions. We've found it difficult to get the tyres to work properly this weekend, so we will just have to wait and see how the track evolves for tomorrow in the race. Now we have to try to convert this result into getting two cars into the points."