Panasonic Toyota Racing: Australian Grand Prix
Qualifying and Race Round-Up
Race Classification: 9th (+63.1s)
Cumulative Qualifying: 2nd (3m04.429s / +2.969s)
"The start of the race was very special, having secured Panasonic Toyota Racing's best ever qualifying result and first front row position in this morning's qualifying session. I got away well, kept my second place into the first corner and had a good first stint, fighting at the front. After my pit stop, I had a problem with the rear tyre which dropped me down the field and unfortunately out of contention for points. Yes, it is a shame that we lost a good opportunity to score points, but I have been encouraged by the TF105's performance over the weekend and we head to Malaysia where we will try to make up for the disappointment today."
Ralf Schumacher (Car 17, Chassis TF105/04)
Race Classification: 12th (+1 lap)
Cumulative Qualifying: 15th (3m22.717s/ +21.257s)
"It is a pity because I had a great start and all was going well. I could not overtake at the beginning unfortunately, because it was not possible to get close enough to make a move. Then I had a problem with the seat belt which forced me to visit the pit once more. By then, the race was over for me, but I kept on pushing because you never know what can happen in Melbourne. I want to compliment the whole team for their outstanding efforts. The car was in good shape with a good balance and the pit stops were well executed. We could have had a great result today."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"We are naturally disappointed that we could not convert our front row qualifying result into points this afternoon. We had a very competitive first stint. Jarno was able to retain second and keep pace with the leader. But after his first pit stop, one of his rear tyres blistered and that meant he struggled thereafter, especially in the middle stint, dropping him out of the points. Ralf had a great first lap. After his first refueling stop, his seat belt became loose, so he had to pit for an adjustment. His final two stints showed the true pace of the car with some competitive running. There are many positives from the weekend. We scored our best ever qualifying result with Jarno starting the race from second place. Starting the race from the front row was fantastic to witness and particularly pleasing for the top executives from Toyota who joined us today. Additionally, I am encouraged by the performance of the TF105. Even with the problems that we encountered during the ra!
ce, the car's reliability was excellent and we were able to finish the race on the same lap as the winner. Compared to last year, when we finished two laps down, I think that demonstrates the progress we have made over the last twelve months. And there is plenty more to come. With the new engine regulations in place, we have enjoyed a totally trouble-free weekend here in Melbourne with our RVX-05 and Toyota has no concerns for the next Grand Prix in Malaysia."
T-car: TF105/02 (set-up for Ralf Schumacheri)
Full results from this weekend's Grand Prix can be found on Panasonic Toyota Racing's media website www.toyota-f1-media.com