Panasonic Toyota Racing: Jerez Test Round-Up
Jerez Test Round-Up
14 January 2005
Location: Circuito Permanente de Jerez, Spain
Dates: 11-16 January 2005
Drivers: Ralf Schumacher (11-12), Jarno Trulli (13-14), Ricardo Zonta (13-16) Track Length: 4.428km
Jarno Trulli – Chassis TF105/02
Best lap time: 1m18.048s
Total laps: 170
Total distance: 752.8km
Jarno, what have you been working on over your two days of running?
"I have spent my two days here in Jerez learning about the new TF105. It is not only a new car but one that is completely different because the rules have been changed to make the cars slower. The car is not yet in the definitive aerodynamic specification for the first race, but it is good to be able to try it out so early to iron out any teething problems. That means that by the time we get to Melbourne we will already have completed a lot of mileage on important parts like the engine and gearbox."
What progress can you already see from the TF104B to the TF105?
"The fact that I know both the TF104B and the new TF105 has helped me compare the two. So far I would say that the new car is stiffer and much more balanced overall. But it is still too early to say more – especially because of the influence of the regulation changes for 2005, which have made this car so different from last year's."
What area do you think needs most attention?
"So far, the new rules mean that the grip level is lower than what I'm used to, but I'm sure we will recuperate that before and during the season. Apart from that I would prefer to keep testing and trying different things to know the car better. To date things are going reasonably well. Now we have to keep discovering and resolving all the problems that you always get with a new car, but I am optimistic because the team and the car are working well."
Ralf Schumacher – Chassis TF105/02
Best lap time: 1m18.242s
Total laps: 109
Total distance: 482.7km
Ralf, what has your programme been for this week's Jerez test?
"The programme for the week has just been about doing baseline work and making sure we sort out all the little problems that occur when you run a car for the first time. I must say it's all been very positive, so a big compliment to the team. They've done a really good job on the mechanical side of the car, addressing the problems we had with the TF104B."
How productive has the test been?
"We did very well this week. As the TF105 is the first 2005-spec car to run it is difficult to compare times because most of the others have been running their 2004 packages. We put in fewer laps than we hoped on the first day because of some minor problems with an electrical box overheating. That is a typical issue when you run a new car and it was resolved by Wednesday, which was a trouble-free day on which we made significant improvements."
What are you initial impressions of the TF105?
"We are happy with what we've seen so far on the TF105, and I think it is a competitive package. It handles well and it is one of the few cars which I have thought was a very good car from the start – even if the new rules make it slightly slower. We still need to carry out work to find out more about it but the baseline is really good, so I am really pleased with the job the team has done."
Ricardo Zonta – Chassis TF104/11B
Best lap time: 1m16.672s
Total laps: 263
Total distance: 1164.6km
What is your main area of work for this week?
"I have been working almost exclusively on tyres this week. Thursday was the first time since the end of the season that I have completed a performance tyre test, which is always enjoyable. It was a positive day and we were able to pick out a few sets to do some longer runs on Friday to check degradation and long-distance performance. That is probably even more important because this year's tyres have to be strong from the first lap of a race until the last."
Ricardo, what are the benefits of running with the TF104B?
"When it comes to tyres, it doesn't matter which car you are running. The information can be correlated directly from one car to the other. But of course we have changed some of the parameters on the TF104B – like the downforce settings – to bring them closer to the 2005 car."
You will also be testing on Saturday and Sunday – what is the plan?
"This weekend we are doing a wet tyre test which works in the same way as the dry one. On Saturday I will do some short runs to pick out tyres to test over longer distances on Sunday. The track dries during those long runs, much as it would do in a race as the racing line dries, so again it is useful for checking degradation."
Mike Gascoyne – Technical Director Chassis
Mike, are you pleased with the debut of the TF105?
"Up to now, we're happy with the debut of the TF105. There has been a positive feeling from the drivers about the new car's handling, especially in relation to the rear end. All the feedback was in the direction we expected, confirming the data we had gathered in the wind tunnel. In terms of reliability this car gives a very good feeling too. As for performance, there is still a lot to come as we get used to how the new regulations affect how the car runs. But it's been a pretty good start."
How would you summarise the week's work?
"This Jerez test has effectively been a week-long shakedown, doing basic systems checks on all the different areas of the car. The job here has really been to get all those checks out of the way so that we can understand better how the car works. Only after that can we begin more detailed work on setting up the car. Although we have done some work on balancing the car, we still have much to learn. With the TF104B if we have a balance problem we know how to change it because we have done it in all kinds of conditions, but with the TF105 we don't yet have all that information. That is work you need to do in a controlled way, step by step."
Testing moves to Barcelona next week – what will the programme be?
"In Barcelona we will have our second new TF105 chassis available and our race drivers are scheduled to run for four days each in the new package from next Tuesday (18 January). That is when we can start the detailed work on set-up, fine-tuning the balance and looking to extract performance. A typical programme would be that one car would look at a front camber scan while the other does a rear camber scan. Then, one would run stiffer on roll bars while the other goes stiffer on springs, or one might move the weight distribution forward, the other rearward. That way we can start to build up the big picture."