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Turkish GP: Qualifying notes - Toyota

NEWS STORY
06/06/2009

Panasonic Toyota Racing will start the Turkish Grand Prix with high expectations for a strong result after qualifying at Istanbul Park today. Under clear skies, with track temperatures hitting 46C and air temperatures 29C, Jarno Trulli secured his fourth top-six grid spot of the season while Timo Glock missed the top 10 by a small margin. There was little to choose between the soft and hard Bridgestone Potenza tyres over one lap of Istanbul Park and in first qualifying the Toyota drivers set their fastest times on different rubber, with Jarno on hard and Timo on soft tyres. In the second session both set their fastest laps on the soft option but recorded differing results. Jarno eased through as second quickest while Timo lost a fraction of a second in the final sector and ended up 13th. That left just Jarno's TF109 in the final session and he was immediately competitive on hard tyres before setting his fastest lap on the softer rubber in the final seconds, claiming fifth place in the process.

Jarno Trulli: "I am happy with this good result, especially after the difficult time we had during the last race weekend. We have made big improvements and it is nice to be back at the front where we belong. The tyre situation was a little tricky today because I was very quick on the hard tyre while I didn't feel I got the most out of the soft option. We need to analyse that to give us the best possible chance tomorrow I'm fired up and looking forward to the race. We were not far off pole position which is very encouraging and gives us high expectations for the race tomorrow. Obviously it is a long race and it's difficult to predict what will happen, but I will be fighting to finish on the podium."

Timo Glock: "That was not an easy session for me and it is disappointing to be out of the top 10. This morning we were quick and the set-up felt really good, so I was happy with the car going into qualifying. But when we put the option tyres on with a light fuel load the car had some oversteer and it didn't feel exactly like it did in the morning. We were still competitive and expecting to get into the top 10 but on my final lap of Q2 I made a mistake in the last sector and that was it; I lost time and didn't qualify where I expected. But it's easier to overtake here than in Monaco so I won't give up on the race."

Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis: "We are clearly having a better weekend than we did in Monaco which is a credit to the huge team effort to understand our issues from that weekend and bring new parts here. Nevertheless, we cannot be completely satisfied with this qualifying result. We missed out on getting both cars in the top 10 which is a pity, especially as we had very high hopes for that before qualifying. Unfortunately Timo made a mistake in the last sector when he was on for a competitive lap time, which explains his grid position. Jarno performed very well throughout and it is pleasing to be back at the right end of the grid. Naturally we want to fight for the podium here so we aimed a little higher than fifth, but it didn't happen so now we are looking to maximise our chances in the race. The tyre situation here is extremely interesting and quite unusual, with the hard and soft tyres offering very similar grip characteristics. This makes tyre choice more of a challenge and we are likely to see some different strategies in the race."

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