Ralf Schumacher's hopes of holding on to his seat at the Toyota team received a minor boost when the German brought his car home in the points after surviving a race of attrition in Montreal.

Schumacher started 18th after again missing the cut in first qualifying, but left the grid with a heavy fuel load, becoming the last driver to stop, on lap 39, by which time he was running as high as third. Although he dropped back down the order with the stop - and again when the team called him for a second fuel and tyre change - the number of cars to hit trouble meant that the German was still running for points in the closing laps. By that stage, however, he was having to use the less-favoured supersoft Bridgestone tyre and found himself unable to resist that advances of Fernando Alonso and Takuma Sato, eventually settling for eighth.

"That was another difficult weekend for me but, of course, it is nice to get a point after starting from 18th," Schumacher reflected, "I'm sure no-one expected that, but it was a chaotic race.

"We fuelled the car heavily for the first stint, and it was not too bad. We were able to make up ground but we were short of straight line speed, so it made it hard to overtake into the chicane. Towards the end, I was overtaken by Sato, who was on the prime tyre when I was on the options, and that was clearly the worse tyre today, but the rules mean we have to run on it."

Out-going team principal Tsutomu Tomita welcomed the point as a farewell present as he heads to a senior management role at Fuji Speedway, but echoed Schumacher's concern that there is a long way to go before Toyota could consider itself a regular threat for points.

"We used our safety car strategies, but we ended up with very different stories for our two cars," he noted, "Considering he started from 18th on the grid, Ralf did a very good job. He was fuelled very heavy, but saved the tyres for the first part of the race and was able to make up a lot of ground with the safety cars, although the last one cost us some places. Like others, he was on the option tyre at the end of the race and struggled for pace. Clearly, we have not had the best performance this weekend and we have work to do."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...