Jarno Trulli's excellent qualifying form in 2007 continued at Magny-Cours, with the Italian now aiming for a repeat of his points-scoring performance in Indianapolis two weeks ago.

Although Trulli left it late before venturing out to set a time in Q1, his Q2 effort was just enough to get into Q3 for the seventh time in eight races this season. Starting from eighth place - as in Indy - the 32-year-old is optimistic of a similarly strong showing in the race.

"That was a good qualifying session," he confirmed, "and I am pleased with the result. The team and I worked hard on the set-up in practice and I think we got it more-or-less right, so we were able to get the best out of the car in qualifying. I think I did a good job, and the team did as well.

"It took some very good laps at the end of Q2 to get into the final session so I was happy with my performance there. In Q3 I think we got the maximum out of the car and my fastest lap was very, very close to the cars in front, just over a tenth away from sixth place. Now I am looking forward to the race. In Indianapolis I started from eighth and did a good job to finish sixth so I am hoping for another strong result here."

Team-mate Ralf Schumacher, meanwhile, narrowly missed out on making it through into the final shoot-out on his 32nd birthday, despite posting an encouraging seventh-quickest time in Q1. His Q2 effort ultimately fell two tenths shy of making the cut, leaving him lining up on the sixth row of the grid but confident of moving forwards in the race at a circuit where he triumphed back in 2003 and finished a competitive fourth for Toyota last year.

"In general I am quite happy," the German underlined. "We knew from the beginning it would be a bit difficult to get into the top ten, but of course that was our target. In Q1 I had a good run and set two quick lap times so I easily made it into the next session.

"We got one car through to Q3, but the times were very close together in Q2 and I missed out by just a few tenths. My lap was ok, but the middle sector wasn't ideal and I lost a little bit of time there. I am still positive though, because anything can happen in the race with the cars so close together. We have to see who has the better strategy tomorrow and also who will manage their tyres the best over a race distance. I am optimistic and my goal is to score points."

"That was quite a good session for us," added Pascal Vasselon, Toyota's senior general chassis manager. "The first thing you have to say about today's qualifying was just how close the times were - only a tenth of a second or so difference could put you towards the front of the grid or quite a bit further down. You could also see a clear difference between the two tyres, with the soft tyre performing better today, although that is of course not necessarily going to be the case tomorrow.

"Both our drivers did a good job. Ralf performed well, particularly setting the seventh-fastest time in Q1, but despite another good lap in Q2 he was unlucky to miss out by a narrow margin. Jarno again qualified well - despite a bit of an issue in Q1 when he thought the red flags were out and backed off, causing him to drop to 15th - but he had clean laps in the next two sessions, setting good times, and his final position is encouraging. Starting from eighth and eleventh we are optimistic and our target is to get both cars into the points."

 

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