Quotes and Interviews - 2006 F1 Season page 3 <<< take me home! >>>
page created 31 July - SAN MARINO, EUROPEAN, SPANISH, MONACO GP'S 2006

The team brought out a heavily revised car for the Monaco GP: the Toyota B-Car made its' debut in Monte Carlo. Ralf finished 8th.

Ralf after Monaco The revised car was debuted at Monaco, but Ralf insists that it is still not a match even for the top five outfits. "In my opinion we have the sixth fastest car at the moment. We have a very strong team but I think we still have an aerodynamic problem. Before we can really start to improve we have to get to the bottom of it"

Toyota Monaco Race Notes Ralf: "To come away with a point is something, but it could have been so much more for Toyota today. We lost too many places at the start and I spent the first half of the race behind Heidfeld. We were quicker but as usual here it was impossible to overtake and our strategy did not allow us to break out of the traffic"

"That put paid to our chances of getting a better result. Still, the car went well and I kept pushing and we ended the race in the final points-scoring position. It was a hard day's work out there but at least we have shown stronger pace this weekend and we must now look to build on that in the coming races"

Ralf on Monaco Ralf: "For the media and VIPs, Monaco is the ultimate stage. But for us drivers it is just another race on our busy annual calendar and it's not really my favourite track". He crashed heavily during qualifying in the Swimming Pool section last year, and had to start the race from the rear.

Monaco Preview Ralf: "From a driving point of view it's great to drive at Monaco and a challenge to be quicker than everyone else round the narrow streets. The barriers are closer than anywhere so you need to adapt your approach slightly. But that is something we have all got used to down the years. The first challenge is to secure a good place on the grid and then to try and finish the race without mishap. Still, I have always been quick there and I've taken pole position and a podium in the past. Last year I made the points and we will hope for more this weekend. I'll be looking forward to trying out our new TF106B"
SPANISH GP 2006 (did not finish: electronics problem)

motorsport.com (14 May) During the first stint Ralf was directly behind Jarno. On lap 16 he attempted a manoeuvre into the first corner and the pair touched, with Jarno's right rear tyre knocking off Ralf's front wing. After pitting for a replacement, Ralf suffered a suspected electronics problem that led to his retirement.

Ralf: "It wasn't a heavy impact but unfortunately I lost my front wing when I hit his tyres so I had to pit for a replacement. That left me well down the field and I then suffered an electronic problem which led to my retirement. All in all it was a day to forget. But at least we were quick in qualifying so we have to look to return to the points in Monaco"

eurosport.co.uk (13 May) Toyota were pleasantly surprised with their qualifying in the Spanish GP with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli placing a respective sixth and seventh on the starting grid.
EUROPEAN GP 2006 (did not finish: engine failure)

The Nürburgring race was Ralf's 150th. He qualified in 10th place and was in a point scoring 6th position until his engine failure uk.sports.yahoo.com

ibnlive.com (10 May) Ralf lost a decent haul of points at the Nurburgring when he retired in the closing stages with an engine failure. Ralf: "We showed that we could have a strong race performance at the Nurburgring, it was just unfortunate for the whole team that we had an engine failure"

uk.sports.yahoo.com Ralf made a bad start, but having made his way into the points, retired with an engine failure. The Nurburgring was in effect the race team's local race, as the track barely an hour from its Cologne base.

Toyota preview European GP Ralf: "We struggled on race day in Imola but our pace shows that we've made big steps forward since the start of the season... We have worked hard on our set-up and we reaped the benefits for our podium in Melbourne. Now we hope to regain that good form with another good result at our home race. I've always really enjoyed racing at the Nürburgring, which is always greatly affected by the weather. I won my first Formula Junior race at the track and I won the grand prix there in 2003. It will be great to have some of the people from the factory there. That support will be really appreciated so let's hope we can give them a result to cheer"

San Marino GP result (23 April) Ralf narrowly missed out on the points, taking ninth place after a battling race on a three-stop strategy. Ralf: "It is a pity that we missed out on the points but that was not the best afternoon for me. We had a very aggressive strategy but circumstances played against us. We were a bit unlucky with traffic and the safety car didn't help us but we also struggled for grip in the early stints. The pace improved in the latter stages so there must be some problem. I don't think it is related to the tyres because other Bridgestone teams did a good job so we need to investigate where the issue lies. We will test some new items next week and I believe we can improve at the European GP"

Ralf on Imola qualifying He qualified 6th. Ralf: We achieved more than we expected today, but I am still not satisfied because I did not do a perfect lap in the traffic at the end of the session. That's a pity because the extra tenth of a second to reach the second row would have been easy to find. Still, this is a very good result and both Jarno and I have done our best. Last year I struggled in qualifying but this car and tyre combination is working better for me.

San Marino GP: Toyota preview (14 April) Ralf: "The venue has been kind to me in the past and I've always enjoyed good results - particularly when I took my first ever grand prix win there in 2001. By contrast the circuit has not been that good for Toyota down the years although both Jarno and I scored points last year. We could face cold conditions in Imola but you never know what the weather will bring there. We struggled at the start of the year in cool conditions but we made the podium in Australia so that shows how far we've come. Of course the season has started off harder than we expected but Australia was much better and the team is strong enough to keep bouncing back"

Ralf interview at The Times (9 April) Click the link to read it. As he stepped out of the car in Bahrain, he turned to the Toyota Motorsports president John Howett, who loves gardening, and said wryly: “Time to open that garden shop, I think”

Ralf has a four-year-old son, David, who shares his father’s passion, not for racing but for Harry Potter. “We both love Harry Potter. We curl up on the sofa and read together. He saw the first three films with me, but I didn’t allow him to watch the fourth one; it was too scary for me, let alone for him”. Inadvertently I then manage to ruin his weekend. “Have you read the latest one?” I inquire. “Which one is that?” “Can’t recall the title. You know — the one in which Albus Dumbledore dies”. “Oh, does he? I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me! I’m only on page 250. The last one I read was the big one, Order Of The Phoenix; started it before Bahrain and finished it on the plane back from Malaysia”
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