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Toyota promise comes to nothing in Britain 08 Jul 2007

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007

Toyota left Silverstone empty-handed following a desperately disappointing race in Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

That was despite having shown promising form in qualifying - and the recent test at the Northamptonshire circuit - with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli lining up sixth and tenth places on the grid respectively.

Unfortunately both cars made poor getaways from the dirty side of the grid and lost ground on the first lap, with Schumacher dropping back to eighth place. The German nonetheless pushed hard during the first stint but shortly after his first pit stop on lap 22 he suffered a wheel fixation problem and he was forced to retire.

“I had a problem with our front left wheel although we still have to investigate the exact cause,” explained Schumacher. “I felt the failure as I came into the complex and I had to retire straightaway. It is a pity because we looked strong all weekend and we were confident of a good result today.”

Trulli, meanwhile, faced a tough afternoon’s work after struggling with balance and grip issues on his TF107 all weekend. He battled as far as lap 43 before the team called him in to investigate the problem.

“The car was very nervous throughout and in the end the team brought me in because there was something wrong on the car which we will have to investigate,” said the Italian. “The positive thing is that Ralf was able to push and be consistent. So we must now forget this one and look forward to the next race because every Grand Prix is a different story. But for me it was a weekend to forget.”

But despite the double DNF, Toyota were able to extract some positives from the Silverstone race. “We had quite good lap times today and we were able to stay with the BMWs and the Renaults while I was in the race,” added Schumacher. “So we have showed a decent performance and I’m reasonably happy with that. The fact that we were able to fight higher up will give the team an extra push as we prepare for the next race at the Nurburgring.”

Toyota will now regroup for this week’s test at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, where, amongst other things, the Japanese team will be looking for the cause of their slow starts at Silverstone. They now lie sixth in the constructors’ championship on nine points, four behind Williams.