Panasonic Toyota Racing claimed a double points finish thanks to fighting performances from Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli in the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring today. They lined up just outside the top 10 after an incredibly close qualifying session but showed their positive intent as soon as the race started.
On the super soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres, both made up a position off the line and the first lap ended with Jarno 10th and Timo 12th. A long first stint helped Jarno reach second before his first pit stop, where he took on more super soft tyres, while Timo also reached the top three before pitting. Great work by the pit crew on both occasions helped establish the Toyotas as points contenders. Both drivers were pushing hard on a strategy which called for a short final stint on soft tyres. By that stage points were in their grasp and Jarno fought valiantly to take his sixth top-eight finish of the season. Timo was even aiming for fifth place in the closing stages and recorded a string of fast laps to put the pressure on. He closed the gap but could not pass, ending the race seven places higher than his starting position and collecting points for the sixth time in 2009.
Timo Glock: "I thoroughly enjoyed my race and to finish inside the top six after starting from 13th is a very good result. I have to say thanks to the team for their good work this weekend, especially to my car crew who have done such a great job. Our strategy was really strong today and the car felt spot on, so it was a nice race for me. In the first stint, on such a heavy fuel load, I struggled a little to start with but then I found a good rhythm and made up a lot of time, especially in the second stint. I had a really good feeling for the car and the tyres performed very well; really consistent. This result is better than I expected today so I am happy and it's nice to be back in the points again."
Jarno Trulli: "I said yesterday that I never give up and I think today's result shows that because I made up several positions and finished in the points again. The car felt strong early in the race and I think I had good pace but I was also stuck in traffic and that made things a little tricky. Later on I started to lose a bit of grip but I kept fighting because I knew we could get in the points. It's a pity we qualified outside the top 10 because who knows what could have been possible but I am happy to be in the points again and this is a positive result for the team. Now I am looking forward to the European Grand Prix in Valencia where I hope we will be even stronger."
John Howett, President: "That was a strong team effort and I am pleased with our performance today, especially after the difficult qualifying. The drivers performed exceptionally well to make up so many places; we had a strong strategy and the pit crew did a great job, all of which is very encouraging. We have to understand why we did not show this performance in qualifying but we will be working hard to remedy that for the next race so we can get both cars into the top six. Our factory closes for two weeks at the start of August and that gives us time to gather our strength and come back with renewed vigour in Valencia, where we performed well last year and aim to do so again this time."
Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-06)
Race Classification: 8th (+68.172s)
Pit Stop Laps: 28, 58
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
Race Classification: 6th (+35.237s)
Pit Stop Laps: 32, 60