Jarno Trulli has admitted that he is hoping to emulate the German Grand Prix of ten years ago as he bids to erase the memory of a difficult out at Silverstone two weeks ago and bring Toyota back into the battle for podium positions.
The Japanese marque has a strong record in qualifying at the Nürburgring, having put at least one car in the top ten on all six of its previous visits, but has only finished in the points once, when Trulli took eighth place in 2005. The Italian, however, has slightly fonder memories of the event, and it is those that he hopes to recreate as he tries to cement a top five finish in the world championship.
"The Nürburgring is such a famous track in motorsport and it is fantastic to go there and see the old Nordschleife," he noted, "The new track is a bit different to say the least but, in its own way, it is still a challenge. It is actually a track I know really well and I have had some good days there, particularly in 1999 when I finished on the podium for the first time in F1. I am always optimistic and it would be great to fight for another podium ten years on from that."
Finishing seventh at Silverstone three weekends ago was not the sort of result that Trulli had been hoping for after starting from row two, and the veteran is determined to set the record straight at what is his team's 'home' race.
"We showed in qualifying at Silverstone that we are competitive - even though the race was frustrating as a result of the start - so I am hopeful for this weekend," he commented, "It is an important race for the team with the factory only an hour away, so that gives me even more motivation to succeed this weekend. I know we will have a lot of support so I hope I can give them the result we all want."
Just 80km separate Toyota's technical centre from the Nurburgring and, with another set of upgrades set to be introduced on the team's TF109 for the German race, it has established the clear goal of rectifying recent stats from the Eifel circuit with a strong points finish for both cars.
Following another top-eight finish in the British Grand Prix, the team has scored in six of the eight races so far, leaving it third in the constructors' championship approaching the mid-point of the season, but Timo Glock has more reason than most for wanting to prolong that record this weekend. The German lives close to the Nurburgring and will wear a special helmet for the event, designed by a local schoolboy as part of a Panasonic competition.
"The Nurburgring is my home track, but it will be the first time I have raced an F1 car there, so I am really excited," Glock admitted, "Obviously, the modern Nürburgring is nothing like the old Nordschleife, which is just an incredible circuit - I drove a Toyota Auris around it recently and it's so much fun, but completely different from a modern F1 circuit.
"Having said that, I enjoy the modern Nürburgring and it is a track I am really familiar with after growing up in German racing. In fact, the first F1 race I attended was at the Nürburgring in 2000, when I was competing in one of the support races, so it will be a special feeling for me this weekend. It's surprising we are already at the halfway point of the season - it has gone so quickly - but I've had some good races so far and it has been nice to be battling at the front quite often. This weekend is another chance to do that and I can't wait."