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GP Week : Issue 20
Disappointment and relief for Toyota THE Panasonic Toyota F1 Team was left rueing what might have been after failing to convert a good qualifying performance from Jarno Trulli into a points finish. But disappointment over unfulfilled potential was countered by the news that Timo Glock had not suffered injury in his high speed accident on lap 36. “For us the priority is that Timo is okay,” said Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota’s Team Principal. “At the moment it is too early to determine exactly what the cause of the incident was, but of course we are investigating. He was doing a strong race and was looking set for another points finish so it was a real pity. “Timo’s accident brought out the Safety Car and that was a key point for Jarno, because he pitted and changed to prime tyres. He was not happy with the balance of the car after that and his pace suffered. Here as well we have to analyse more the reasons for this because, after the outstanding pace we showed earlier in the weekend, this was unexpected. It has been a difficult day but we must look forward and fight to have both cars in the points at the next race.” Having qualified fourth, Trulli was annoyed by an ill- handling car in the second half of the race. “That was a disappointing race for me because we had high hopes of scoring points today,” said the Italian. “Everything was looking good early in the race but after our second stop, when we switched our strategy because of the Safety Car, it became really difficult. I was having problems with the balance. I struggled a lot and in the last 10 laps it was really tough. But I was in eighth place and fighting really hard to get a point. “I was holding off Vettel but unfortunately I locked up the front and couldn’t recover so I lost the position. After that I lost more pace and wasn’t able to push as hard as I wanted.” ‘Home’ team rues non-result for Trulli, but are thankful for Glock safety WITH a Red Bull Racing contract freshly signed and in his pocket, Sebastien Vettel drove like a man possessed at his home Grand Prix, putting up a tremendous fight against world champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. His aggressive and mature drive to eighth place drew praise from Team Principal Franz Tost. “[This was] Vettel’s best race to date. He got a good start passing Webber, running consistent lap times to stay ahead of him. The guys did a fantastic job in the pit stop as it got us ahead of Alonso. He fought very well against Alonso, in an entertaining fight. “The Safety Car worked against us, as it meant Piquet got ahead of us, having stopped before it. From then on, Vettel defended his position in a fantastic way and deserved this point in his home race.” Vettel himself admitted he had made a few mistakes, but that his ability to fight with cars far higher up the food chain had left him satisfied. “It was a tough race with a lot of fights but it was big fun. The first lap was hard and close. I tried to pass Kimi, but it didn’t work out. I took some time to find a rhythm but I had a wonderful car and could run a great pace. I was disappointed when I saw the Safety Car as I was comfortably holding a points position, but we did the best we could in the situation. “I fought to the end and although I was quicker than Jarno I could not pass and then he made a mistake, which brought me back to eighth place. Congratulations to everyone in the team. Eighth with no retirements, means we deserved to finish where we did and I am proud of that.” 26