Panasonic Toyota Racing suffered disappointment in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring today. On another hot and sunny afternoon, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock took part in a very close-fought contest, beginning in first qualifying.
Both drivers chose to start that session on soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres, which increased in pace during the run. For their final flying laps, they changed to the super soft compound but a yellow flag in the closing minutes caused a late scramble for a quick lap time. Jarno and Timo both held their nerve and pulled off fast laps to progress. The super soft tyres were the rubber of choice throughout second qualifying, although Jarno was not able to set a competitive time on his first run due to traffic. Lap times were again incredibly close and, despite being less than a second shy of the fastest time with their late laps, both Toyotas did not reach third qualifying. Following his accident today, the team sends it best wishes to Felipe Massa and hopes to see him back at the track very soon.
Jarno Trulli: "I have not been particularly happy with the car all weekend and unfortunately we couldn't make it into the top 10 today. The lap times have been very close all weekend and just a couple of tenths makes a big difference in the standings. Ultimately we didn't have the pace. It's difficult at the moment to judge exactly where we were lacking but obviously we were hoping for a better result. I am a racing driver and I never give up; the race is long and anything can happen so I will do my best to score points."
Timo Glock: "I am disappointed with that result, especially because this morning I felt we had quite a good package and the car felt competitive, even though I lost some track time. For some reason we just couldn't get the best lap time out of the car, which is a pity. On my last flying lap I caught another car in the final corner and lost a little time; I am sure I would have been able to go faster but that's how things go in qualifying on a twisty track like this. Starting from 14th makes it difficult for us tomorrow because overtaking is pretty much impossible here but we will see what we can do in terms of strategy and of course we will do our best."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "Obviously we have had a few troubles this weekend. We had various technical issues with both cars, including a loss of hydraulic pressure for Timo this morning, and this has caused us to lose some valuable track time. The field is clearly very tight at the moment and if you are not getting the full potential out of your car, it costs you a lot. We haven't performed well so far this weekend and the result today was not good enough. Still, we have to focus on the race tomorrow and look at the various options we have to try to make up positions."
Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-06)
3rd Practice: 12th, 1m 22.097s (+1.088s), 25 laps
1st Qualifying: 8th, 1m 21.416s (+0.623s), 10 laps
2nd Qualifying: 12th, 1m 21.082s (+0.724s), 8 laps
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
3rd Practice: 6th, 1m 21.849s (+0.840s), 12 laps
1st Qualifying: 14th, 1m 21.584s (+0.791s), 11 laps
2nd Qualifying: 14th, 1m 21.242s (+0.884s), 8 laps