Toyota are hoping to show their Silverstone testing form last month was no flash in the pan this coming weekend, as the squad bids to erase the memory of a bitterly disappointing French Grand Prix less than seven days ago.

Following an encouraging qualifying display, Jarno Trulli crashed out of the race at Magny-Cours after barely a handful of corners, while team-mate Ralf Schumacher spent his entire opening stint holed up in traffic, condemning him to a lowly tenth place finish at the chequered flag. The Japanese outfit is determined not to let points go begging in a similar manner as the Formula 1 circus arrives back on British soil.

"Silverstone is a very high-speed circuit," Trulli underlined, "probably the fastest on the calendar after Monza. The sweeping fast corners in the first half are probably the most difficult as you can lose quite a bit of time before you hit the very fast Hangar Straight. It's a long circuit and a challenging one as well, for the drivers and also for the team when it comes to set-up.

"As a driver you need a lot of commitment in the corners to really get the best lap time out of the car. There are all different kinds of corners at Silverstone, so there is a compromise between grip in the corners and speed on the straights.

"Unfortunately I go to Silverstone after a very disappointing race in Magny-Cours. We had a really strong chance to score good points but on the first lap I just misjudged the hairpin and crashed. We know our race pace was good enough to score points, though, so that is again the target."

Schumacher is heading to the Northamptonshire circuit in equally optimistic spirits, having set competitive lap times in France when he was clear of traffic and - like his team-mate - having topped the timesheets during testing at the track a fortnight ago.

"I am looking forward to the British Grand Prix," the German enthused. "I have always enjoyed racing in Britain because the fans there are so fanatical about motorsport - they really love the sport. They are always supportive of all the drivers, no matter what nationality they are.

"The Silverstone circuit is very fast and challenging, but I think we are in reasonable shape after our test there. Even though the result at Magny-Cours was not what we expected, we can take some positives out of the weekend. I lost a lot of time held up behind another car early in the race, but after that the car felt pretty good and my lap times were better than our position suggested. It was frustrating to miss out on points because we had a good opportunity, but I am confident we can continue to improve and get back into the points."

"We had a successful test at Silverstone two weeks ago so we approach the British Grand Prix with confidence," concurred Toyota's senior general chassis manager Pascal Vasselon. "We evaluated some aero elements of our upgraded package, which we used in France, as well as looking at set-up for this race. We will have the same aero package for this race as we used at Magny-Cours because the requirements of the two tracks are similar, although not identical.

"In terms of set-up, you have a lot of high-speed corners and the average speed is quite high. It would require a lot of downforce to be faster in some of the high-speed corners, but the circuit is fast so you pay for that with drag. There is a compromise, but after the test we know pretty much which aero set-up window we are working in.

"The test at Silverstone went smoothly. Both drivers felt the car was very reasonable at high speed, so we are confident of scoring points again this weekend after a disappointing race in France."

 

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