Open Wheel News
French Grand Prix - Race Report - Panasonic Toyota Racing
Jun 22, 2008 - 10:22:05 AM
Today's Weather: Dry race despite brief shower near the end, air 24-26°C, track 25-32°C
Constructors' Championship Points: 23 (5th)
Drivers' Championship Points: Jarno Trulli 18 (7th) Timo Glock 5 (13th)
Jarno Trulli (Car 11, Chassis TF108-05)
Summary: Starting 4th, gained a place at the start and held 3rd position for the first stint. Rejoined in 8th but moved back up to 3rd after the first round of stops. After second pit stop fought hard to hold off Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren, taking Toyota's first podium finish for over two years.
Race Classification: 3rd (+28.250s)
Qualifying Classification: 5th Lap Time: 1m 16.920s (+0.471s in Q3) Grid: 4th
"What a great result and a great weekend by the whole team. We were pushing really hard because we wanted to dedicate this result to Ove Andersson, who has done so much for Toyota Motorsport. Today was a great race, hard and tough. We had a good pace, even if we had to battle with some cars that were quicker than us. I had to fight really hard but that is what people should expect both from myself and from Toyota. When the rain came at the end I had to take care because it's always difficult to judge how bad it is when you're in front. But I got back into a rhythm and had a wheel-to-wheel fight with Heikki, just like in go-karts. The team made no mistakes this weekend, from the people in the factory who made the new parts on the car to the mechanics who did perfect pit stops today. There's still more to do but today we can be very satisfied. The team is doing a great job, the car is much more competitive and everyone is motivated. Things are moving on."
Timo Glock (Car 12, Chassis TF108-06)
Summary: From 8th on the grid, made a strong getaway and moved up two places. Ran as high as 3rd but suffered graining after first pit stop and lost ground. Battled well to bring the car home 11th.
Race Classification: 11th (+1 lap)
Qualifying Classification: 10th Lap Time: 1m 17.596s (+1.147s in Q3) Grid: 8th
"That was a difficult day for me. I made a good start, the car felt good for the first stint and I was able to push hard. But after the pit stop I struggled to maintain the same pace because I had some tyre graining and I then had major understeer. That meant the car was sliding around for much of the race. It didn't work out for us in terms of strategy either. I lost ground at each of the pit stops and in the end we just dropped out of the points. Still it's great for Jarno to take third place and the podium, a perfect result for him and the team. We have clearly made progress since the last test and our pace means I am determined to come away with better results in the coming races."
John Howett - Toyota Motorsport President
"This is a fantastic day for everyone involved with Toyota Motorsport. It was our first podium for a long time so we dedicate it to Ove Andersson, who did so much for the team and will be greatly missed. Congratulations to everyone involved both at the factory and in the race and test teams who have worked hard to improve the car. We had a good test in Barcelona last week and today Jarno did a phenomenal job. It was an incredible battle in the closing laps but Jarno's very experienced and it was a clean fight, which was good to see. When it started to rain he had to be cautious but he did a fine job to keep Kovalainen behind. It was an encouraging weekend for Timo too, who did well in qualifying but was unlucky with traffic today. He suffered with understeer compared to Jarno so we will have to investigate that. Both cars also made excellent starts from the dirty side of the grid so we hope that can continue. Of course we must now keep pushing really hard because our pace is still not matching the front-runners but we can be hugely satisfied with this result."
Toyota now has a three-day test scheduled to start on Tuesday 24 June at Silverstone. The team will return to racing in a fortnight at the British Grand Prix. Stay up to date with all the latest news from www.toyota-f1-world.com, where you will find Jarno Trulli's French Grand Prix debrief later this week. A VNR feature and accompanying text giving an insight into the challenges of the British Grand Prix will be released on Monday 30 June.
2002 Speed Arena