Toyota Racing

Formula 1 Team reports for the 2009 F1 season includes race previews, reports and reviews
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Toyota Racing

Postby Ed » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:15 pm

Australian Grand Prix - Preview

Date: Sunday, 29 March, 8am CET
Round: 1 of 17
Venue: Albert Park, Melbourne
Distance: 5.303km (58 laps)
Lap record: 1min 24.125 (2004)

History: The Formula 1 World Championship first visited Australia in 1985 for a race on a street track in Adelaide, which hosted the event until 1996 when Melbourne took over. This year will be the 25th consecutive Australian Grand Prix and the 14th in Melbourne.

Panasonic Toyota Racing heads Down Under this weekend for the Australian Grand Prix on the street circuit at Albert Park; the first round of the 2009 Formula 1 season. The new TF109 car has completed 21 test days and around 10,000km kilometres since its first official test on 19 January, including a four-day test with the Australian Grand Prix aerodynamic package in Barcelona earlier this month. These tests produced very promising results so the team makes the 16,000km journey from Germany to Australia full of optimism. Jarno Trulli made his Formula 1 debut at Albert Park in 1997 while Timo Glock's first race with Toyota was in Melbourne last year, the fifth Grand Prix of his career.
In 2008 neither Jarno nor Timo finished the Australian Grand Prix so a significant improvement is expected this time around.

Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "Melbourne is a great place to visit and the Australian Grand Prix is always good fun. As a Formula 1 driver you really want to race so I am pleased the season is starting and we can get on with the competition. I am totally fired up for this season and I am feeling very positive about our chances. The TF109 is the best Toyota I have driven in pre-season testing; it feels stable and gives the driver confidence but more importantly it seems to be pretty quick, even though it's hard to make too many judgements based on testing. We made a big step last year, proving we can fight for podiums and finish regularly in the top six so I am hoping for another step forward this year. We have more experience now and the team has worked really hard for a long time on the TF109 - we are ready for the season and I am raring to go."

Timo Glock (Car 10): "It's very exciting to be going to the first race this year because the big changes to the technical regulations for 2009 give Toyota a good opportunity to fight at the front. It's really hard to predict because you don't know what other teams are working on in testing but I know our programme and the results we have seen are very encouraging. Testing has gone really well and I have a good feeling for the new car. It's a different emotion to be starting my second year with Toyota compared to 2008 because now I am much more familiar with the team and I feel I can really start the season strongly. Last year it took a few races to find the right direction for me in terms of set-up but I don't expect that to be a problem this season. Australia is anyway one of my favourite places to visit so I can't wait to get to Melbourne and get the season started."

John Howett, President: "This is a big season for our team and we have set ourselves high targets. We exist to win so that is clearly the aim this season and we have every reason to be optimistic after our extremely positive testing results. This is our eighth season in Formula 1 and we have learnt a lot in that time; we are leaner, more experienced and better equipped to succeed. Our drivers are a great asset to us this season; Jarno has huge experience and everyone knows he is tremendously fast while Timo is an explosive young driver who showed his great potential last year. So 2009 is a big opportunity for our team and we are determined to make the most of it. We have been on the podium in the past in Australia and I would like to see us there again this weekend."

Oh What a Feeling! This year the TF109s will feature slogans from local Toyota distributors to support their marketing efforts and to thank them for their continuing support of Panasonic Toyota Racing. This weekend, Toyota in Australia brings 'Oh What a Feeling!' to the race track. The logo can be seen on the rear wing end plates and the driver's head protection of the TF109.
Last edited by Ed on Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Ed » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:22 am

Australian Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
1st Practice: 12th, 1m 28.142s (+1.455s), 21 laps
2nd Practice: 3rd, 1m 26.350s (+0.297s), 42 laps

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-03)
1st Practice: 8th, 1m 27.710s (+1.023s), 24 laps
2nd Practice: 6th, 1m 26.443s (+0.390s), 42 laps

Panasonic Toyota Racing got the 2009 Formula 1 season under way on a warm and sunny afternoon at Albert Park in Melbourne with free practice for the Australian Grand Prix today. With air temperatures of 18-19°C and track temperatures of 25-33°C, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock put the TF109 to the test during two 90-minute practice sessions. Jarno was the first Toyota driver to hit the track this season, exiting the pits in the first session shortly before Timo and the pair went on to complete a largely trouble-free session of set-up evaluation. For the second session both drivers had the chance to try out the super soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres in addition to the medium compound experienced earlier in the day, while continuing their mechanical and aerodynamic set-up work. They put in a busy stint and both ended the day in the top six.

Jarno Trulli
"It was a tough day because we covered quite a few laps and had a lot of things to work on. In general we have worked really hard to understand the tyres and find the right set-up, which is not easy. I am still not completely happy with the car balance and, even though when you look at the timing sheets things look pretty good for us, the car isn't completely comfortable to drive. Now we have to work on improving the set-up and the balance for tomorrow when it is most important. Anyway, I have to say it's great to be back at a Grand Prix because I love being behind the wheel with the atmosphere and excitement of a race weekend; this is what I live for."

Timo Glock
"In the end I am satisfied with our day but I have to say the first session went better than the second session for me. In the first session I had a good feeling from the car and things were running well but then later on I suddenly had a few problems because the car was a bit nervous and didn't feel as stable on the long runs. The behaviour of the car seemed to change between the sessions so we have to look at the data to understand why that happened. So we still have some work to do but that is the purpose of practice and we will work hard on the car set-up before qualifying tomorrow."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test
"It was a reasonable day for us. The track evolution was different compared to previous years but that was probably connected to the later start for practice. As usual it was dirty to begin with so that affected the grip and then in the second session it seemed the track began to drop off at one stage. The biggest issue we have to follow up is the tyres because the behaviour is not quite as we expected, but apart from that it was a pretty smooth day with both cars. We didn't have any significant issues so we completed quite a lot of laps and got through our full programme of looking at set-up and studying the tyres. It is only Friday so it's not easy to judge relative performance but we are looking quite competitive, even though we will focus on improving our long-run performance before the race."

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Postby mlittle » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:18 am

Australian GP
Panasonic Toyota Race Report


---Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
Grid: Started from the pit lane due to penalty
Provisional Race Classification: 12th (+26.604)*
Pit Stop Laps: 10, 33

---Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-03)
Grid: Started from the pit lane due to penalty
Provisional Race Classification: 4th (+4.435s)*
Pit Stop Laps: 18, 50
*As issued at 20.30 local time

----Panasonic Toyota Racing started the 2009 Formula 1 season with a trip to the podium and a double points finish in an exciting Australian Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock started from the pit lane but battling opening laps saw both fight their way up the order. Jarno started on the super soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres and made an early pit stop for mediums while Timo was initially on the mediums, preferring a longer first stint. With plenty of incident elsewhere on the track, the two Toyotas made their way into the top 10, passing several cars on the way before a breath-taking final few laps. Jarno's long final stint saw him move into the points when other cars made their final pit stops and he showed great pace to come within sight of the podium, which became a reality after a late accident for two rivals lifted him to third. Timo chose to finish the race on the super soft tyres and passed several cars in a short final stint to take fifth as the race finished behind the safety car. Race stewards subsequently handed Jarno a 25s penalty for overtaking under safety car conditions, but the team has filed an appeal within the proscribed time period.

Jarno Trulli
"I can't say how disappointed I am to finish third but have the result questioned. When the safety car came out towards the end of the race Lewis Hamilton passed me but soon after he suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road. I thought he had a problem so I overtook him as there was nothing else I could do. I would still like to say thank you to the team who have made a huge effort. The fact we were able to fight for the podium despite starting from the pit lane is down to them."

Timo Glock
"I am happy to finish fourth but obviously it is really disappointing for Jarno. For us to be fighting at the front like that after we started from the pit lane really shows the strong performance we have. This is proof that our car has real pace. It was a good race for me and I have to say thanks to the team for their hard work in achieving this. The race was pretty exciting but I was stuck behind the Renault of Alonso for quite a while and it was difficult to overtake. My car felt good but I couldn't find a way past, however when I was in clear air I was able to go about a second faster so the performance is definitely there. I said before the weekend that we looked strong judging by our winter performance and it's great to show that in race conditions."

Tadashi Yamashina - Team Principal
"This is an extremely frustrating way to finish a challenging weekend. Already we were disappointed to be starting from the pit lane after we were informed yesterday about the problem with our rear wing. We responded to that in a fantastic way and we showed that our car has genuine performance. I would like to thank everyone who is part of our team, not just the guys at the track but also everyone at the factory, our partners and our fans. It's sad that this result has been questioned but we have filed an appeal to give us more time to study the data and the situation."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:30 am

Panasonic Toyota Racing
Malaysian Grand Prix Preview


-----Date: Sunday, 5 April, 11am CET
-----Round: 2 of 17
-----Venue: Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
-----Distance: 5.543km (56 laps)
-----Lap record: 1min 34.223 (2004)

~~~~History: The Malaysian Grand Prix has been a fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 1999, with Sepang hosting its 11th Grand Prix this year. Prior to that the Malaysian Grand Prix was an event for other racing series, running intermittently from 1962-1995.

Panasonic Toyota Racing is quickly in action again with the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang following just days after the season got under way in Australia. Toyota has proud memories of Sepang, which was the scene for its first Formula 1 podium back in 2005 when Jarno finished second. Last year Jarno again showed his mastery of Malaysia by finishing a superb fourth place while Timo suffered an unlucky retirement when another car caused an accident.

Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "I generally go really well in Malaysia and I have had some strong results there so I am approaching this race with great confidence. We achieved a great breakthrough in Malaysia in 2005 when I got the team's first podium in Formula 1 so I have good memories which will inspire me this weekend. Of course one of the big topics in Malaysia is the heat and humidity, which is quite a challenge for the drivers. It's not easy but that's why I train so much over the winter; I'm fit and it will be fine. Australia was a weekend of highs and lows but we showed that we are very competitive and I hope we can do that again this weekend."

Timo Glock (Car 10): "I don't have much experience of racing in Malaysia because I was taken out so early last year, but from the practice and qualifying I know the conditions are quite extreme. It's also pretty tough on the cars and tyres as well but I can adapt quickly to different conditions and different tracks so I'm ready for the challenge. I said before the season started that our car looked pretty good and the performance we showed in Australia proved that. It's great to have good points on the board already this season and my goal is obviously to add to that this weekend. We have every reason to be optimistic."

John Howett, President: "Australia was a very challenging weekend for the team but we responded extremely well to it and the performance was a credit to everyone. We showed extremely strong pace in the race and all our work has clearly delivered a competitive car which we expect to show again in Malaysia."

Moving Forward This year the TF109s will feature messages from local Toyota distributors to support their marketing efforts and to thank them for their continuing support of Panasonic Toyota Racing. This weekend, Toyota in Malaysia brings 'Toyota Moving Forward' to the race track. The logo can be seen on the rear wing end plates and the driver's head protection of the TF109.
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Postby Ed » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:50 pm

Malaysian Grand Prix - Free Friday Practice Round-Up

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
1st Practice: 11th, 1m 36.982s (+0.722s), 26 laps
2nd Practice: 12th, 1m 36.516s (+0.809s), 34 laps

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
1st Practice: 10th, 1m 36.980s (+0.720s), 27 laps
2nd Practice: 14th, 1m 36.639s (+0.932s), 29 laps

Panasonic Toyota Racing started its second race weekend of the season with two 90-minute free practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit today. Typically hot conditions, with air temperature from 28-33°C and track temperature from 33-48°C, greeted Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock. In first practice, both drivers used only the hard Bridgestone Potenza tyre while trying out different aerodynamic and mechanical set-ups to suit the long straight and flowing corners of Sepang. A productive session brought in useful information, despite a harmless spin from Timo midway through. More set-up work was scheduled for the second session, along with evaluating the soft compound tyre and both drivers had their first taste of the option rubber within the first 30 minutes. Dark clouds gathered and a few drops fell in the closing stages without affecting the session.

Jarno Trulli
"Today went fine and it was a very standard Friday session for us. The track was a bit slippery this morning but it cleaned up quickly and by the second session it was fine. We went through our programme and tried a few things with the set-up and the tyres to improve the car. If you look at the timing sheets we don't look as competitive as I expected before coming here but I think the car is definitely there and it is just a matter of getting the right direction on set-up. The soft tyres seem to be pretty competitive and they were faster but the hard ones were a little bit too hard."

Timo Glock
"It has been quite a tricky day for me today. The car this morning didn't feel quite right and I had some trouble with the stability, then at the beginning of second practice I was getting some oversteer and the car felt light. But we worked on some different set-ups and by the end of the day it was feeling better. We still have plenty of work to do before qualifying but we had a similar situation in Melbourne and we made a lot of progress so I am still optimistic."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test
"It was a pretty normal Friday for us. We concentrated on tyres and trying to find a balance for the cars. We struggled a bit today getting a perfect balance and we still have some work to be done on both cars overnight to fine-tune the cars in order to get the best out of the package we have. In terms of the tyres, we seem to be in a different situation compared to Melbourne, much less at the limit and both tyres seem to be working reasonably well. The timing sheets are very close together so we're not worried about the final positions at the moment."

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Postby Ed » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:48 pm

Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying Round-Up
Saturday 4 April 2009

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
3rd Practice: 4th, 1m 36.132s (+0.192s), 21 laps
1st Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 34.745s (+0.064s), 7 laps
2nd Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 33.990s (+0.206s), 6 laps
3rd Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 35.273s (+0.092s), 7 laps

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
3rd Practice: 5th, 1m 36.189s (+0.249s), 22 laps
1st Qualifying: 3rd, 1m 34.907s (+0.226s), 9 laps
2nd Qualifying: 4th, 1m 34.258s (+0.474s), 8 laps
3rd Qualifying: 5th (grid: 3rd), 1m 35.690s (+0.509s), 7 laps

Panasonic Toyota Racing will start the Malaysian Grand Prix with two cars in the top three after a close qualifying session at Sepang International Circuit today. The session started in late afternoon with threatening rain clouds gathering but air temperatures nevertheless of 29-30°C and track temperatures of 36-40°C. After testing both Bridgestone Potenza tyres in practice, both drivers used the hard tyres at the beginning but then switched to the softer option to ease through Q1, when just 1.5secs covered the entire grid. It was also close in Q2 but both Toyotas comfortably made it through, again on the option tyres. As usual, the top-10 shoot-out in Q3 was a close affair but Jarno was always in the fight for pole position and he claimed second in the very last seconds as the rain stayed away. Timo, who also used the soft compound for his flying laps, improved significantly with his final run to set the fifth fastest time. However, due to penalties for other cars he will start
third.

Jarno Trulli
"The team has done a fantastic job, we stayed away from traffic and the car was feeling good, so it has been a very successful day for us. The car feels strong now but I have to admit I wasn't sure I would be in this position after practice yesterday because it was quite difficult. I worked hard with my engineers to analyse the data and make some improvements to the set-up and we got it spot-on in qualifying. In a way it's a little disappointing to miss pole position by just a few hundredths but that's how close Formula 1 is at the moment. Compared to last year we are much more competitive this season and instead of fighting for the top six we are now here fighting in the top three. I hope for a strong race tomorrow and I will fight as hard as I can."

Timo Glock
"Overall the qualifying went quite well and I'm happy to be starting third. But I'm a bit frustrated with my final lap in Q3 because I was struggling a little bit to get used to how the car felt with a heavier fuel load. That meant I didn't get 100% out of the car. In Q2, on a light fuel load, I made a few mistakes on my first run but then I got it absolutely right on the second and I was really pleased with my lap. In the end it's a good result for the whole team to have two cars in the top three. It will be a tricky race and Jarno and I will push each other very hard but we also have to think about the weather because that could be a factor."

Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis
"We are very pleased with this result even if the ultimate target is to be on pole position. Yesterday's sessions went so-so I would say, we were not completely happy with the car balance and the grip but obviously we have reacted well overnight and finally it has been a very good team result. Thanks to Bridgestone, the tyre situation here is quite easy to handle for qualifying and the race so we don't expect anything unusual in that sense, which is the opposite of Melbourne when the final laps were dictated by the tyres. So all in all it has been a good weekend so far and we are very optimistic for the race tomorrow."

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Postby Ed » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:57 am

Toyota race report

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
Grid: 2nd
Race Classification: 4th (+46.173s)
Pit Stop Laps: 17, 22, 28, 31

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
Grid: 3rd
Race Classification: 3rd (+23.513s)
Pit Stop Laps: 15, 22, 30

Panasonic Toyota Racing claimed its second consecutive podium finish during an incredible rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit. Timo Glock scored the second podium finish of his career while Jarno Trulli, who had been fighting for the lead throughout, also took strong points as reward for a battling race in difficult conditions. An exciting start saw Jarno's fighting spirit as he reclaimed second place while Timo, on the outside at the first corner, dropped to eighth. Jarno pushed hard to keep first place within sight, while Timo was caught in a tight battle for the top six. Having started on the option tyre, both drivers continued with that compound at their first pit stops, with Jarno briefly leading. But then, on lap 20, the rain came and both were forced to pit on lap 22 with track conditions extremely difficult. Jarno was given wet tyres while Timo took intermediates. As the fastest man on track, Timo made up a host of positions as Jarno valiantly fought for the podium. Heavy rain and changing track conditions made strategy extremely difficult. Jarno made a further two trips to the pits first for intermediate then wet tyres while Timo switched to wets as the rain increased. Conditions were so bad the race was red flagged and after waiting to see if conditions improved, the race was declared and half points awarded.

Jarno Trulli
"I am happy for the team. I feel a bit unlucky this weekend - I missed pole position by a tenth and it could have been an even better result for me. It was a good race and it was certainly eventful. I was pushing at the front and fighting with Rosberg for the lead. Actually I was struggling a bit with traction but it was very close. Then the rain came and the team chose to go with heavy wets, which was the more conventional strategy. I was the quickest car on the heavy wets but that was not enough because the tyres went after two laps. Timo was on the intermediates at that stage and that worked out better for him. I was a bit unlucky but strategy is always easier in hindsight and I don't want to blame anyone. It is a pity to just miss out on the podium but it is another very good result for the entire team."

Timo Glock
"It is fantastic to be back on the podium and I am really happy for the whole team. It was a really tricky race. I started third and was eighth at the end of the first lap. I struggled a bit behind the guys in front of me in dry conditions but I made the right call on the intermediate tyres; I said let's just take the risk and go for it. It was a long time before the rain really came down and I was not sure what everyone else was doing. They were struggling on the wets but I was really quick and I made up a lot of positions. When the rain came down I had to go to heavy wets because my tyres were destroyed. I was going well on them and it was unlucky that they declared the results based on the order at the penultimate lap because I could have had second. When the red flags came out I was second but I'm still happy with the result."

Tadashi Yamashina - Team Principal
"I am very proud of the team's efforts today because it is fantastic to get another podium and it shows how competitive we are this season. It was an extremely challenging race for the team but everyone did their best and was professional even in those difficult conditions. It is disappointing for the fans that the race could not continue as scheduled due to the weather but there was nothing that could be done. We have shown again today that we are really fighting at the front this season and I am obviously hoping we can continue this very good performance in the Chinese Grand Prix as well."

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Postby Ed » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:16 am

Malaysian Grand Prix Debrief - Q+A with Timo Glock

You started the race and finished the race in third, but it wasn't as simple as that was it?
Absolutely not. It was a really tricky race, especially from a strategy point of view and then when the rain really came down it was impossible to drive in those conditions. For me it was really action-packed and a lot of fun. I lost some places at the first corner but on the intermediate tyres I was the fastest guy on the track so I overtook plenty of cars and then I was fighting right at the front. It was pretty unbelievable.

What happened at the start?
I had a lot of wheelspin so I was quite slow pulling away. Then as I was preparing for the first corner I looked to my left and suddenly Fernando (Alonso) and Kimi (Raikkonen) were there; I couldn't believe it! That meant I was on the outside for turn one and it was really tricky just to get around without damaging my front wing. So by the end of the first lap I was eighth which was really frustrating and I thought it had destroyed my chances of being on the podium. I was in a group of cars stuck behind Fernando, with Mark (Webber) directly in front. I was quite a lot quicker but I just couldn't get close enough to overtake. I tried once but damaged my front wing; I lost a bit of my endplate but in the end it didn't make much difference in terms of performance.

What were you thinking when the rain started?
I could see the black clouds coming towards the track after five or six laps so I was asking my engineer when the rain would start. It started but not as heavy as maybe other people were expecting. The team left the tyre decision to me and I decided to go for it and take the risk of putting intermediate tyres on because it wasn't raining so much at that stage. I knew a lot of other guys were on the wet tyres so it was a risk but I thought it was worth it.

How was it on intermediates at that stage?
It was definitely the right call because I was the quickest car out there for quite a few laps. After my pit stop I was out of the top 10 but the intermediates were clearly the best tyres for those conditions and I was a lot faster than the guys on wets. My tyres were going off but the team kept telling me I was the fastest guy on the track so I kept pushing and overtaking people. In just a few laps I went from being outside the top 10 to running second; it was amazing and very exciting but eventually the tyres really did go off so I had to come in to change to the wets.

What was it like driving in the heavy rain?
It was more like swimming to be honest! Even when we were driving behind the safety car it was nearly impossible because the cars were just sliding everywhere; there was so much water. It was a confusing situation with everyone pitting and some cars spinning; at one stage I thought I was leading the race but then Jenson Button came out of the pits just ahead of me. Then when the red flags came out I was in second but when I went to the podium I was third!

Are you happy with third?
I'm definitely happy with third and my second podium in Formula 1. It's a great result and I have to thank the team because everyone at the track and at the factory has worked really hard over the winter and this is the result. We have finished on the podium in both races so far and we have deserved to be there; our car is really quick and everyone is doing a good job. We have shown what we are capable of so now we have to keep pushing hard and we can continue to be one of the top teams this season.

What are your expectations for the next race?
We are second in the Constructors' Championship and we have had both cars in the top four in both races so far this season so our aim has to be to finish on the podium again in China. I was in the points in China last year but now our car is much more competitive; it is more stable, you can push more as a driver and it is obviously faster relative to the competition. I'm really looking forward to it.

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Postby Ed » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:15 pm

Chinese Grand Prix - Preview

Date: Sunday, 19 April, 9am CET
Round: 3 of 17
Venue: Shanghai International Circuit
Distance: 5.451km (56 laps)
Lap record: 1min 32.238 (2004)
History: The first Chinese Grand Prix was held in 2004 at the Shanghai International Circuit, where it has been held ever since. A Chinese Grand Prix at Zhuhai International Circuit was provisionally included on the 1999 World Championship calendar but did not take place.

Panasonic Toyota Racing continues the 2009 Formula 1 season with another trip eastwards, this time to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, which comes much earlier in the season than its usual autumn spot. Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli finished third and fourth respectively in the Malaysian Grand Prix last time out, reversing the result in Australia and taking the team's Formula 1 podium tally to 10. After the race the team briefly returned home to its technical centre in Cologne, Germany before making the trip to China, although the cars and equipment went directly from Sepang to Shanghai. Last year Timo Glock finished seventh in China to score more points in his debut season while Jarno Trulli was eliminated in an early accident. Toyota has finished on the podium before in China, in 2005 with Ralf Schumacher, and that will be the target again this weekend.

Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "I am really optimistic about the Chinese Grand Prix because we have started the season very strongly. It shows how much progress we have made since last season that in Malaysia I was a little disappointed with fourth because I wanted to finish on the podium and fight for the win. Last year in Malaysia I finished fourth and that was more than we expected. We are second in the Constructors' Championship so it's clear we are one of the top teams and both Timo and I have consistently been fighting at the front which is great. So the goal for me in China is to fight for the podium again and I think we have a really good chance. China is one of those circuits where I have never had much luck and it was the same last year when I was hit from behind at the first corner, so I'm determined to have a better weekend this time."

Timo Glock (Car 10): "Malaysia was a crazy race but it was a great result for the team and it gives us a lot of confidence for the Chinese Grand Prix. We were really competitive in all conditions which is a good sign because it confirms we were right to be optimistic before the season started. We have had both cars finish in the top four in both races so far this season so we are definitely aiming to challenge for the podium again, but of course it's pretty close so we will have to do another good weekend. It seems strange to be going to China in April because it has always been later in the season; the weather looks like it could be a bit cooler than usual. I quite enjoy racing at Shanghai because it's an interesting track. Last year I went well there and scored points, but I'm hoping to get more than seventh place this weekend, that's for sure."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "Shanghai is a track which offers a very wide range of cornering speeds so you cannot optimise the car just for high-speed or low-speed corners; you have to find a good balance. The unique aspect to the Shanghai track is its very long corners; turn one and turn 13. It is extremely important to get the balance of the car right in turn 13 because it comes out on to the main straight and you want to exit at the highest possible speed. These two corners and the specific lay-out in general are also demanding on tyres so overall Shanghai is quite severe in terms of tyre wear. If you have a compound which is too soft it is likely to have graining issue. So it will be interesting to see how the super soft and medium compound tyres behave this weekend."

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Postby Ed » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:19 pm

Chinese Grand Prix Preview Q+A with Pascal Vasselon
Tuesday 14 April 2009

Can you explain why tyres have such an impact on car performance?
Tyres have a huge impact on car performance simply because they are the car's only contact with the ground. To make a car quick you have to be able to generate acceleration and these forces go through the tyres. You can have anything you want on the car but if the tyres are not able to generate the proper friction coefficient you get nowhere. In fact, this has developed to be one of the two major performance factors in Formula 1.

How different is the challenge when we have a one manufacturer, compared to when there is a tyre war?
In the recent past, when we had competition between different companies, tyres become the most important performance factor, followed by aerodynamics. At the moment Bridgestone are the sole supplier so we are not developing tyres any more; you just have to use them properly. I would not say it is easy but it is one step less difficult than developing them. In this situation the performance ranking changes and aerodynamics become the most important, with tyre handling second. Everything is easier because the tyres are consistent and you have time to learn how to handle them; you are not in a process where you have to significantly update your knowledge constantly as you are when you develop tyres. With spec tyres as we have now, learning the behaviour of the compounds is still very important but it is easier to get on top of the situation.

What characteristics does a car need to use its tyres in the best way?
You have to maintain the tyres in a suitable temperature window so they can develop their grip without overheating. A tyre which is too cold doesn't develop grip and a tyre which is too hot will degrade too quickly and lose performance. Then you have to maintain them in their window of physical resistance so you should not overstress them to the point where the compound falls apart. So you are constantly adjusting the car set-up in order to maintain the tyres in these performance windows, getting the maximum possible performance out of them.

Is tyre management more challenging this season?
Tyre management is more challenging this year than the previous season simply because the tyres are new and we are again in a learning curve. At every race we discover more about how these compounds behave. For example, at Sepang we had the new hard specification tyre, which we had no prior experience of in testing; we just had the practice sessions to learn about it. We tested with the other three compounds over the winter so we know more about them but still we have no data from races in previous seasons, as we had last year. This makes it a little bit more demanding. Also, we moved from grooved to slick tyres and these don't react in the same way to graining and temperatures. Overall it is challenging but it is also very interesting.

Does the bigger difference between compounds at each race make strategy more difficult?
This year Bridgestone is bringing very different compounds in terms of stiffness and temperature range to each race. Last year, in Malaysia for example, we had the medium and hard compounds but this season we used soft and hard. This is designed to make tyre management more challenging and it certainly has the potential to do that. We saw that particularly in Melbourne where we had to be very alert to tyre behaviour. This was particularly noticeable in Melbourne.

Why was this so noticeable in Melbourne but not in Malaysia?
The situation we had in Melbourne was that neither of the compounds was completely suitable for the track and conditions. In Melbourne we were in a situation where the super soft tyre was too soft but the medium tyre was too hard, so it was difficult to get the tyres working in the ideal window. It was completely different at Sepang because both compounds worked in the correct window so tyre management was much more straightforward.

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Postby Ed » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:03 pm

Toyota Motorsport GmbH statement

Toyota Motorsport is pleased to hear the FIA International Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the Australian Grand Prix stewards concerning the rear diffuser on our car.

As we have maintained throughout, our team studied the wording of the new 2009 regulations in precise detail to ensure we interpreted them correctly.

We also made full use of the consultation procedure with the FIA which was a helpful process to ensure our interpretation of the technical regulations was correct.

Therefore we had every confidence that the design of our car would be confirmed as legal, firstly by race stewards in Australia and Malaysia and subsequently by the Court of Appeal.

Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina said: "I was confident the Court of Appeal would reach this verdict and I am satisfied with it. It is important to stress we studied the technical regulations in precise detail, consulting the FIA in our process, and never doubted our car complied with them. This has been a challenging period for Formula 1 and I am pleased this issue is now in the past and we can focus on an exciting season on the track."

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Postby Ed » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:02 pm

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
1st Practice: 6th, 1m 37.764s (+0.430s), 19 laps
2nd Practice: 6th, 1m 36.217s (+0.538s), 42 laps

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
1st Practice: 8th, 1m 37.894s (+0.560s), 21 laps
2nd Practice: 8th, 1m 36.548s (+0.869s), 40 laps

Panasonic Toyota Racing today began preparations for the Chinese Grand Prix with a day of practice at the Shanghai International Circuit. The teams normally come to the city later in the season so conditions are cooler than usual here. Despite a sunny day, the air temperature ranged from 16-20°C and the track temperature from 26-34°C. Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock both had full days of practice as they work towards Saturday and Sunday. The TF109s feature aerodynamic updates here and they collected useful data throughout both sessions. During the morning session, Jarno had a slow in-lap due to an electrical problem but it did not hamper his programme. In the afternoon both drivers sampled the softer of the two Bridgestone tyre compounds in preparation for qualifying and the race.

Jarno Trulli
"That was a busy Friday for me. This morning we had an electrical problem which cost us a bit of track time but we recovered to complete our programme of work on set-up and tyres. The track surface wasn't in fantastic condition this morning but it improved during the day. In general I'm still not happy with the car's balance and pace so I hope we can analyse the data tonight and aim for better tomorrow. Then we can target another strong result on Sunday."

Timo Glock
"So far things are going okay for us. The track was quite tricky this morning because there wasn't much grip. I was sliding around on the green track and had to find a way to get the car together. But over the course of the day we sorted out a lot in terms of the set-up. The second free practice session was better and the car felt more together. So we have more work to do to get the car in the right direction for tomorrow. But overall this has not been a bad start to the weekend."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test
"We made it through our programme without major issues on the car"

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Postby Ed » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:41 pm

Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying Round-Up

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
3rd Practice: 2nd, 1m 36.272s (+0.139s), 22 laps
1st Qualifying: 9th, 1m 36.308s (+0.775s), 8 laps
2nd Qualifying: 5th, 1m 35.645s (+0.515s), 6 laps
3rd Qualifying: 6th, 1m 36.835s (+0.651s), 7 laps

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
3rd Practice: 20th, 1m 39.110s (+2.977s), 6 laps
1st Qualifying: 10th, 1m 36.364s (+0.831s), 8 laps
2nd Qualifying: 14th (grid: 19th), 1m 36.066s (+0.936s), 6 laps

Panasonic Toyota Racing will head into tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix with one car on row three of the grid after a tight qualifying session at the Shanghai International Circuit. On a sunny day in China, air temperatures ranged from 22-25°C while the track was 33-38°C. Timo Glock's day got off to an unfortunate start when he had a gearbox problem early in the morning practice session. That required a gearbox change and left him with a five-place grid penalty. This afternoon, in Q1 both drivers did their first run on the medium compound Bridgestone tyre before switching to the super soft for the second run. They stayed on the softer rubber for the rest of the sessions. Jarno had a successful afternoon, making it through to Q3 and setting the 6th fastest time. After his morning troubles, Timo struggled for grip in Q2 and qualified in 14th place, although he will drop to 19th after his penalty.

Jarno Trulli
"It was a hard qualifying for me and I'm a bit disappointed with the results because after this morning's practice session I believed we had the pace to be at the front. But somehow, just as in Australia, the grip slipped away between this morning and this afternoon. Something was missing after that, the car wasn't there any more and I had to push hard even to make it into Q3. Still, I was happy with my final lap and in the end P6 is a reasonable place to start. Tomorrow should be a good race and there could be rain so that could mix things up."

Timo Glock
"This morning I had a gearbox problem after three or four laps in free practice so we lost a complete session. So I was short of track time heading into qualifying. The car felt different from yesterday and it was already really tricky to drive in Q1. I couldn't string a lap together and I knew it would be difficult to get into Q3 because the times were so tight. It felt slippery, I couldn't quite feel confident with the car and on the last lap I made a mistake so that was that. With our penalty it means we are starting from the back row so now we just have to hope for rain tomorrow."

Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis
"This was obviously a disappointing result, far away from our 2009 standards. Timo had a gearbox problem this morning which we couldn't repair so we were forced to change the unit for qualifying. So Timo had a troubled day and a troubled qualifying, which together with the penalty means he will start on the back row. Of course we will amend his strategy for this position. For Jarno it went better, but still far from expectations. The tyres have been the story of the weekend, especially the management of the softer compound, which is better than expected but still problematic. There is a window for a three-stop strategy here so it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds."

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Postby Ed » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:29 pm

Chinese Grand Prix - Race Round-Up

Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
Grid: 6th
Race Classification: DNF
Pit Stop Lap: 18

Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
Grid: 19th
Race Classification: 7th (+1m 14.476s)
Pit Stop Lap: 24

Panasonic Toyota Racing will leave China with two points after a hard day's work at the second rain-affected race of 2009. Following a dry week, the heavens opened just hours before the race, which started behind the safety car in the wet conditions. Timo Glock started from the pit lane with a heavy fuel load on wet Bridgestone tyres. He initially made up ground with a number of passing moves and he was up to 11th by the second safety car period. Unfortunately he sustained front wing damage and he was forced to come in for an early pit stop to change it on lap 24. The pit stop crew did a quick turnaround and he was fuelled to the end of the race. He dropped to the back again but he battled hard, passing more cars and bringing his TF109 home in 7th for two points. Jarno Trulli started in 6th place but struggled for grip in the wet conditions, losing ground before he was hit from behind by Robert Kubica's BMW on lap 17. He returned to the pits but the damage was too great to continue.

Jarno Trulli
"That was not a good day for me. The conditions were very difficult, there was a lot of standing water and lots of aquaplaning. When the safety car came in I made a solid start and my pace was okay in the early laps. But then I started struggling for grip, the pace just wasn't there and the longer it went on the more ground I lost. On lap 17 I just felt a big hit from behind and I lost my rear wing. I made it back to the pits but we couldn't continue. Still, my pace yesterday shows we're close the front so now we must hope for better fortunes in Bahrain next weekend."

Timo Glock
"In the end we picked up more points from the pit lane so we have to be happy with that. But it was a very hard race, especially at the beginning. I was quite surprised when we started the race. When you're at the back of the field there is no chance to see anything and it's like driving blind. I made up some ground but I damaged my front wing when I touched Nick. It was so difficult to see, I misjudged my braking point and hit him on the back. That meant we had to bring our pit stop forward by a few laps to fix the damage. Later when I had a clear run for five or six laps I was pretty quick and on the pace but as soon as I caught Kimi I was stuck behind him. I couldn't see the standing water so I had to back off, particularly in the areas where you could overtake. In the end I got past and we were able to bring it home 7th."

Tadashi Yamashina - Team Principal
"Timo didn't quite put together his last qualifying run yesterday but he never gave up. Today he twice found himself at the back of the field but he showed great spirit to overtake so many cars and bring home two points. Jarno struggled to make the most of his strong grid position today so we will have to check the data to find out what went wrong. Still, his qualifying performance was good so I'm sure he will do his best to make the podium again at the next race. We still have our spirit to win and we will fight again in Bahrain next week."

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Postby Ed » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:13 pm

Bahrain Grand Prix - Preview

Date: Sunday 26 April, 2pm CET
Round: 4 of 17
Venue: Bahrain International Circuit
Distance: 5.412km (57 laps)
Lap record: 1min 30.252 (2004)

History: The first Bahrain Grand Prix was held in 2004 at the Bahrain International Circuit, which has held the race every year since. In 2006, Bahrain had the honour of being the first race of the season.

Panasonic Toyota Racing returns to action swiftly after the Chinese Grand Prix with a trip to the Middle East for the Bahrain Grand Prix on the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir. The team benefits from extensive recent experience of the track with the TF109, having spent two weeks testing there in February, completing 3,847km over 711 laps. Toyota has scored points in every race so far this season, with Timo Glock claiming a fighting seventh place in China on a day when Jarno Trulli was eliminated after being hit from behind by a rival. This weekend the team will again use the super soft and medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres, having previously used these in both China and Australia. Toyota has a strong record in Bahrain and already has experience of the podium there following Jarno's second place in 2005. More recently, Jarno finished sixth there last year while Timo was ninth after a late gearbox issue denied him points.

Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "I am looking forward to racing in Bahrain after the tests we had there over the winter. Bahrain was the first chance I had to really test the TF109 in dry conditions and I knew immediately we had a competitive package, which has proved to be the case now the season has started. In testing the car was strong in Bahrain so I have a good feeling for this weekend and I think we can be competitive. Weather and track conditions change from winter testing to the race weekend but it should still help us a bit to have set-up information from the new car at this track, and we have quite a bit of experience now with these two compounds of tyre. I will push as hard as I can, as always, and I know everyone in the team is really motivated so I hope for a smooth and successful weekend."

Timo Glock (Car 10): "The Bahrain Grand Prix is good fun and the track is unique. For car set-up you have to compromise between straightline speed and grip in the slower corners, which is quite a tricky balance to achieve. One issue we face particularly in Bahrain is the wind, which comes in across the desert and can change direction from lap to lap. This can make the car a bit unstable if it blows in the wrong direction but we know what to expect so we can be prepared. Last year I was pretty unlucky in Bahrain because I had to back off with a small technical issue when I was sure I would score my first points for the team. But this season has started in a much better way compared to 2008 and I am confident I can continue to show that good performance."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "We achieved a huge amount of laps in Bahrain during testing and this was very useful in terms of developing the TF109. It should also be useful for this weekend because we have some experience of set-up and slick tyres at this track with the new cars, so we should hit the ground running on Friday. We tested both tyre compounds when we were in Bahrain in February and they performed well in representative temperature conditions so we're not expecting any major problems in that area. Otherwise, Bahrain is quite tough on the brakes; we expect it to be harder on them than any other race this season."

Passion to Lead This year, as part of a global Toyota campaign, the TF109s will feature messages used by local Toyota distributors to thank them for their continuing support of Panasonic Toyota Racing. This weekend, 'Passion to Lead' is inspired by Toyota in Bahrain. The message can be seen on the rear wing end plates and the driver's head protection of the TF109.


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