Panasonic Toyota Racing's German Grand Prix qualifying was severely hampered by the fickle Eifel weather at the Nürburgring today. Hopes were high after a solid practice showing but qualifying started with threatening clouds in the sky. With that in mind Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock started on medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres before quickly switching to the super soft variety. Jarno did enough on his second run to progress but a mistake at the chicane cost Timo time and he required a final stint on super soft tyres in the closing minutes to get through. By then the rain had started, giving him no chance to improve. Jarno was therefore the only Toyota in second qualifying, when the changing conditions caused difficulties for everyone. He left the pits on super soft tyres but a rain shower forced him to return to the pits, without recording a lap time, to switch to standard wet tyres. He set a time within the top 10 before a dry period saw all drivers scramble for the pits to return to super soft tyres. However, the rain returned on his final flying lap to deny Jarno a place in third qualifying.
Jarno Trulli: "The weather didn't help us at all today. It was very windy and cold, which generally doesn't suit our car, so unfortunately we were struggling to get the tyres up to the right temperature. We were still reasonably competitive so we got through Q1 without any great difficulty but then we had the rain. Towards the end of Q2 we were not on the right tyres at the right time so it wasn't possible to get into the top 10. Obviously it's frustrating to qualify in 14th because I am more used to fighting in the top six but we can only do our best in the race tomorrow and see what happens."
Timo Glock: "That was definitely a disappointing result and it is not what I expected for my home Grand Prix. The weather was too cold for us because since Silverstone I have struggled to get the most out of the tyres over one lap; I don't know if it is only the temperatures or something else as well. It's not clear to me why we have this issue with the tyres in qualifying but we have to work on it. It is a real pity I went out in first qualifying because after that we had the rain and I usually do really well in wet conditions. Maybe we will have some rain again tomorrow and that might give me a chance to get a decent result. We will see."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis: "We were certainly not expecting such a bad result. So far the weekend had been quite smooth with trouble-free sessions for both cars. The set-up was reasonably sorted but obviously we didn't manage the changeable conditions well in qualifying. Timo locked his rear wheels on his lap on the super soft tyres in Q1 and we were one lap too late with Jarno to switch to dry tyres in Q2. It was quite a bad result considering the high standards we have set so far this season but anything can happen in the race. We have prepared our set-up to cope with the possibility of bad weather and rain could again play a big part."
Timo Glock will appear at the Ring Arena tonight prior to the Felix Sturm v Khoren Gevor World Championship boxing match to launch an online charity auction in aid of the United Nations World Food Programme. His German Grand Prix helmet, designed by the schoolboy winner of a Panasonic competition, and Felix Sturm's gloves from the bout will be auctioned to raise funds for hungry children around the world.