Toyota aces Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli came away empty-handed from the Turkish Grand Prix, despite the latter once again confirming the potential of the TF107 by qualifying inside the top ten on the grid for the eleventh time in twelve races this year.

The Italian's luck, however, would run out as early as the first corner in the race when he was tagged from behind by Giancarlo Fisichella and spun in the middle of the pack. From thereon in the Italian's endeavours were reduced to a fruitless attempt to regain ground, and despite initially making up an impressive five positions in six laps he could ultimately do no better than a demoralising 16th place at the chequered flag, having spent much of the race embroiled in a scrap with the two Hondas.

"I overtook many cars and had a lot of battles," the 33-year-old remarked, "but when you end up at the back it is so difficult to catch up. With our strategy we were hoping to challenge for points, but after the first lap that was clearly not possible. Now I will try to forget this race and focus on my home race in Monza. I enjoy racing in Italy so I hope we can get a better result there."

Team-mate Schumacher, for his part, endured a somewhat lacklustre weekend, hampered by a poor qualifying run that had left him down towards the back of the grid. On a one-stop strategy in an effort to make up places, the German spent a number of laps involved in a spirited dice with David Coulthard, eventually crossing the finish line in twelfth.

"I am not really happy with the result," he lamented afterwards. "I think we had the speed, but because I was on a one-stop strategy my car was very heavy and I couldn't really push early in the race. The car wasn't ideal with the hard tyres either, so I lost a bit of time, but it was the right strategy as it was very difficult from where we were on the grid.

"As we saw on the Friday, we have decent race speed and when I was in clear air my pace was not so bad. My lap times got better towards the end of the race and were actually quite good. If our result in qualifying had been better we would have been able to score points. We can definitely expect to fight for points in the remaining races."

Team principal Tadashi Yamashina was similarly disappointed at the final outcome of the weekend, but confident of being able to make amends at Monza in just under a fortnight's time.

"We expected a much better result this weekend because we had some new parts on the car thanks to the hard work of the team at the factory," the Japanese stressed. "The weekend started quite well and should have finished quite well but our cars spent most of the race in traffic.

"With Ralf, due to his starting position we went to a one-stop strategy and this was the decision we had to take in order to gain some positions. It worked to an extent, but Ralf was stuck behind slower cars for too long at the start of the race.

"For Jarno you can see what happened; he got hit by Fisichella and that was it - he went to the back of the field and stayed stuck in traffic. He had almost no laps in free air. In these hot conditions both drivers got to the end of the race and that is the only thing we are happy about. We must analyse what happened over the weekend, and for the next race at Monza we will push hard again and hope for a better result."

 

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