German GP: Preview - Toyota


The first German Grand Prix was held in 1926, it joined the Formula 1 World Championship calendar in 1951 and has been on the calendar ever since, with absences in 1955, 1960 and 2007. Hockenheim (31) has hosted the most German Grands Prix while AVUS (1) and Nürburgring (23) have also held the race.

Panasonic Toyota Racing makes the very short journey south of its Cologne base for the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Only around 80km separates the team's technical centre from the legendary track, which first hosted Formula 1 in 1951 and has done so 37 times, most recently as home to the European Grand Prix. Toyota has a strong record in qualifying at the Nürburgring, having qualified at least one car in the top 10 on all of its six previous visits, but only finished in the points once; Jarno Trulli's eighth place in 2005. With another set of upgrades to the TF109 for this race, the clear goal is to rectify that statistic with a strong points finish with both cars. Following another top-eight finish in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last time out, the team has scored in six of the eight races so far to leave it third in the Constructors' Championship approaching the mid-point of the season. For his home race, Timo Glock will wear a special helmet designed by a local schoolboy, the winner of a Panasonic competition in Germany.

Jarno Trulli: "The Nürburgring is such a famous track in motorsport and it is fantastic to go there and see the old Nordschleife. The new track is a bit different to say the least but in its own way it is still a challenge. It is actually a track I know really well and I have had some good days there, particularly in 1999 when I finished on the podium for the first time in Formula 1. I am always optimistic and it would be great to fight for another podium 10 years on from that. We showed in qualifying at Silverstone that we are competitive, even though the race was frustrating as a result of the start, so I am hopeful for this weekend. It is an important race for the team with the factory only an hour away so that gives me even more motivation to succeed this weekend. I know we will have a lot of support so I hope I can give them the result we all want."

Timo Glock: "This is my home track and it will be the first time I have raced a Formula 1 car there so I am really excited. Obviously the modern Nürburgring is nothing like the old Nordschleife, which is just an incredible circuit. I drove a Toyota Auris around it recently and it's so much fun but completely different from a modern Formula 1 circuit. I enjoy the modern Nürburgring and it is a track I am really familiar with after growing up in German racing. In fact, the first Formula 1 race I attended was at the Nürburgring in 2000 when I was competing in one of the support races so it will be a special feeling for me this weekend. It's surprising we are already at the halfway point of the season - it has gone so quickly. I've had some good races so far and it has been nice to be battling at the front quite often. This weekend is another chance to do that and I can't wait."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "The Nürburgring does not place any specific demand on a Formula 1 car; it requires an average aero efficiency level with average tyre severity and doesn't put any particular strain on brakes, suspension or engine. The main concern is with the weather and consequently with tyre warm-up because the track is close to the mountains and if you are unlucky you can experience cool temperatures and rain. We haven't raced at the Nürburgring since 2007 but the lay-out hasn't changed since then so our database is still valid, although obviously we have to make adjustments to take into account the aerodynamic changes and slick tyres. The British Grand Prix didn't go as well as expected but our qualifying performance was encouraging, as was Timo's pace out of traffic in the race, and we aim to be stronger this weekend."

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Published: 06/07/2009
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