Toyota duo Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli are eyeing a change of fortunes for their home round of Fuji after another disappointing weekend in Belgium that failed to live up to early promise.

Toyota proved quick in practice and when Trulli and Schumacher started from competitive eighth and tenth place grid slots, it gave the team hope points would be the reward for their efforts.

However, for Trulli especially, much of that work was undone by the first corner when the Italian was baulked by another vehicle and forced to take a wide line out of La Source, something that dropped well outside the top ten.

Putting him behind heavier rivals, Trulli's two-stop strategy meant he could not make up the time in the latter stages on the way to an eventual 11th place finish.

"That was a difficult afternoon for me. At the first corner I lost a few places because I had to brake and go on the outside after another car braked late. There was nothing I could do. I fell behind other cars who had more fuel on board and were much slower than me, but it was not possible to overtake because we didn't have the straight-line speed."

Schumacher on the other hand endured a better afternoon, getting a good start to run inside the top ten for the length of the race. Adopting a one-stop strategy. Schumacher finished tenth, but was only a handful of seconds off a place in the points.

"The race was okay. I did my best and I think we got the best out of the car, but unfortunately it was not quite enough for any points. Looking at it from that perspective, it is frustrating because we pushed the car to the limit and we hoped for more after our competitive pace in practice. On Friday it looked promising but we lost out compared to the other teams and now we need to look at the reasons for that."

Still, both drivers are now looking ahead to the next round in Japan, the first to be held at the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway. The only drivers with experience of the circuit, Trulli and Schumacher are desperate for a good result there.

"Now we will focus on Fuji Speedway for the Japanese Grand Prix and I hope we can get a better result in our home race," Trulli said. "We will be working hard in the test this week to improve and we will try our best as always."

"The next race is at our home track, Fuji Speedway, so the whole team is looking forward to the Japanese Grand Prix," Schumacher added. "Clearly this is an important race. It is disappointing not to score points here but we will push hard to do that in Japan."

 

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