Panasonic Toyota Racing made an early start to practice for the sixth round of the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship on the streets of Monte Carlo today. According to tradition, practice for the Monaco Grand Prix takes place on Thursday so Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock took to the streets on a warm and sunny day to get their first taste of the TF109 on the twisty 3.340km track.
Toyota worked on getting the maximum possible downforce from the TF109 as well as fine-tuning mechanical set-up. In the afternoon session, as track temperatures hit 44°C and air temperatures 26°C, the team switched its focus to the soft and super soft compound Bridgestone tyres. Jarno and Timo both completed busy and trouble-free sessions of evaluation. They will next hit the track for third practice on Saturday morning.
Jarno Trulli: "We did our normal work of setting up the car and trying to find a good balance. Of course the track surface was dirty this morning and that meant there wasn't much grip. In second practice I had some problems with the tyres and with degradation so we must look into that and work out a solution. We have plenty of work to do but here in Monaco we have an extra day to study the data and improve the set-up. We certainly won't be having a day off tomorrow."
Timo Glock: "That was not an easy day for me. We tried out several mechanical and aerodynamic set-ups in the morning and then in the afternoon we spent more time looking at the tyres. It's hard to say where we are at the moment. Overall, in terms of lap times it was not great but it's always tough to judge after practice. We need to work on getting better traction and getting the best out of the tyres, which was a bit of a challenge in the afternoon. It's tricky but we have a lot of information to look at and we'll make improvements before qualifying."
Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test: "We had a busy day today, doing a lot of laps without major technical problems on the cars. We spent first practice mainly on set-up and assessing some new items we have for this race and in the second session we worked mainly on tyres. We seem to be struggling a bit with long-run consistency so that is something we have to look into. I am not too worried about the time sheets because we set our fastest lap times on the option tyres very early in the second session and we know there is significant circuit evolution here in Monaco. We will now analyse our data, not only tonight but also tomorrow, and come up with the best package we can for Saturday and Sunday."
Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-06)
1st Practice: 20th, 1m 19.831s (+2.642s), 28 laps
2nd Practice: 14th, 1m 16.915s (+1.672s), 43 laps
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
1st Practice: 19th, 1m 19.698s (+2.509s), 24 laps
2nd Practice: 18th, 1m 17.207s (+1.964s), 45 laps