Panasonic Toyota Racing heads to the birthplace of the Formula 1 World Championship this weekend for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone fresh from Jarno Trulli's superb third place in France. The 5.141km Silverstone circuit was built on a former airfield and held the very first World Championship race back in 1950, seven years before Toyota took its first steps into international motorsport.
Back then the fastest lap was recorded at an average of 151.3km/h but today lap speeds are closer to 230km/h, making Silverstone, with its fast Becketts sweeps and long Hangar Straight, one of the fastest tracks on the calendar. Jarno and Timo Glock both had the chance to acclimatise to the specific demands of Silverstone during a productive three-day test there last week. Following the team's return to the podium two weeks ago another points haul, and fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, is the target this weekend.
Jarno Trulli: "Silverstone is one of the most historic circuits we visit and it's a track which all drivers enjoy. The main characteristic is the very high average speed, as well as the flowing corners in the first part of the lap which are very challenging and enjoyable. Becketts is a particularly challenging sequence of corners because you really need to find the right line. The only slower section at Silverstone is the final complex where there are a couple of second gear corners; the rest is just high speed and I like that. After such a fantastic result in France I think we have a very good chance to be competitive again. So far this season it has been very tight in the midfield but we are in there fighting and we will push as hard as possible to score more points. We showed what was possible in Magny-Cours so now I am looking forward to another exciting race."
Timo Glock: "I am looking forward to the British Grand Prix because Silverstone is a fun circuit and I had some strong races there in GP2 in 2006. The first corner, Copse, is probably my favourite part of the track because it is nearly flat in sixth gear, which makes it interesting, and then you have Becketts. I prefer the fast corners to the slower ones at the end of the lap but in general it's a good mix. The weather is always a question mark at Silverstone; I was in England in May for a short trip and it rained every day! If you have changeable weather over a race weekend it can be a bit tricky because you don't know what's going to happen in the next hour or so. But even considering the weather, Britain is a fun place to race and I enjoy it every time I go there. France was a great weekend for the team, with Jarno's podium, but unfortunately I missed out on points so I will be aiming to improve at Silverstone."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "Silverstone is one of the highest speed circuits and a by-product of this is that probably it is the most severe on tyres because of the high-speed corners. We will be using the hardest compounds of the Bridgestone Potenza tyres for this reason. It is a medium-high downforce circuit which puts very little stress on the brakes. This is because the average speed is high so you have good cooling and you have few low-speed corners so the braking energy is low. Obviously we go to Silverstone in very good spirits after the great result in France. I am confident we have made a genuine step forward and that will be visible at Silverstone as well because the car configuration is very close to Magny-Cours. Of course the other teams are working hard to improve as well and we don't know how much progress they have made at the last test but we are back at the top of the midfield again and we want to show that once more this weekend."