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Paul Ricard day one - Toyota debut TF106B 27 Apr 2006

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Practice Day, Imola, Italy, 21 April 2006

The B-version of Toyota’s 2006 car made its first track appearance at Paul Ricard, France on Wednesday. Jarno Trulli completed just over 200km in the updated machine, which is expected to make its race debut in Monaco next month.

"This is the first day with the B-car and although we had some small issues which caused delays, these were not directly related to the new car,” reported Dieter Gass, Toyota’s chief race and test team engineer. “Overall it is good to have the car testing on the track.

“The team back in Cologne pushed hard to prepare everything in time. This new package is a consequent realization of the change we had with the front suspension. With this being the major new item, this allows up to fully exploit the aerodynamic and mechanical side of the front suspension. Yet it is still too early to say anything about the performance, because we did not do enough running with it today.”

Trulli clocked a best time around four tenths slower than team mate Ricardo Zonta, who was tyre testing in the current TF106, and the Italian declared himself happy with progress.

“The day was very promising, especially with the new car and in general, the testing we got through was good,” he said. “Tomorrow I hope to put in even more laps to gain a feeling for the new package and to be able to make a better judgement."

Toyota were joined at Paul Ricard by Ferrari, both teams using the circuit’s 3.254km 3E-SC layout. Luca Badoer was at the wheel of the Italian squad’s 248 F1 machine, his programme focussed on Bridgestone tyre development.

Testing continues at Paul Ricard until Friday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Paul Ricard:
1. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 58.262s
2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Bridgestone), 58.630s
3. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 58.676s