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Anyone coming to Friday's practice session for the British Grand Prix hoping for the habitual grey skies and drizzle will be disappointed to leave warm and dry tonight. It was a tale of sun, Silverstone and sand traps - meaning only the most determined nostalgia fans donned the traditional local costume of cagoules and bobble hats. On the track, Panasonic Toyota Racing began its preparations for Sunday's race with two solid sessions of practice. The team has not tested at Silverstone this year so drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli had to work hard on tyre comparisons and set-up work. They put in nearly 50 laps between them as they prepared for the rest of the weekend around this glamorous, sun-soaked Northamptonshire venue.
Jarno Trulli: "We probably had a bit more work today on set-up than some of the other teams because we haven't done any testing here at Silverstone this year. There was not much grip out there and we tried different tyres in order to understand which direction we should take. We still have a bit of work to do on setting up my car but in general everything went well. The new TF106B raced in Monaco and after our strong Barcelona test last week this will be the first time we can race it at a high speed circuit. What brings a smile to my face is the weather. You never know what to expect here but the sun suits us fine."
Ralf Schumacher: "It was slippery out there today which made life a bit difficult for all the drivers and a lot of cars spun. At least we managed to keep the car on the track and we made it through our programme without problems. We still have a bit of work to do on the set-up side but hopefully the grip will become a bit better as the weekend progresses. The first time I tested a Formula 1 car was here at Silverstone ten years ago. They've changed the circuit since but I still enjoy racing here and I like the track lay-out. We still have some work to do to reach the level of performance we would like but we should hope for a strong result here."
Dieter Gass - Chief Engineer Race and Test: "It's nice to be in England in such warm, sunny weather and today was a solid day of practice for us. We had more problems with grip than you would expect at Silverstone and the drivers reported that it was difficult to find a balance. So that made it a hard day's work, but we have made some adjustments which helped solve the balance problem. We also went through the tyre comparison without any major issues so we are in reasonable shape for the rest of the weekend."
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