Toyota today completed their first week of pre-season testing at Barcelona, with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli having the track to themselves following the departure of the other nine teams who tested from Tuesday. Despite having only two cars on track, they achieved the fastest times of the week, with Trulli stopping the clock on 1:15.936, and Schumacher doing so at 1:15.976. All-in-all, it was a very positive day for the team.
As expected, the team continued work on the 2007 Bridgestone tyres. In order to maximise the performance of the new rubber for next season, Ralf and Jarno tried out numerous different set-ups. The team was able to collect plenty of data which bodes well for their next test in Jerez.
“The track temperature this morning was too cold to really do any useful running so we had to wait a bit for it to warm up,” said Trulli. “Once that happened we were able to resume where we left off yesterday and continue with our tyre testing programme. I had a positive impression of the new tyres and everything seemed to go well. We had a good and learned quite a bit.”
“We had a very good day yesterday but today was a bit more difficult as we had a few problems. Still, everything has been a little bit easier than I was expecting because I expected the new tyres to be a lot harder to drive. I have found in these two days that they are actually quite drivable. I must say I am positively surprised with the tyres,” commented Ralf. “I am really happy with them, they are good for testing because you can go out every time and do a consistent lap time.”
“The team made some good progress in understanding the 2007 tyres and we're pleased with the consistent behaviour and performance we experienced throughout the week,” added the team's Chief Test and Race Engineer, Gerd Pfeiffer. “We put in some quite quick lap times and the circuit was for sure in a very good condition after the three-day test this week, with a very high level of grip. Overall we are quite satisfied with the results we have achieved during this test but we still need to be working on improving reliability.”
Toyota, like most other F1 teams, returns to the test track next week in Jerez for a three-day test.
Unofficial times from Barcelona (01/12/2006):