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Mixed feeling for the Toyota drivers

Jarno Trulli was delighted to end a long run of disappointing races with eighth place in the season finale at Interlagos

Although the Italian had qualified in the top ten for the majority of this year's rounds, he had not been in the points since the United States Grand Prix in June, having been hampered by a series of poor starts and misfortunes.

But Trulli's race ran smoothly in Brazil and he was able to battle for points throughout, racing with the BMWs and Nico Rosberg until dropping to eighth following his final pitstop.

"I am happy because we finished the season with our first finish in the points for a long time," Trulli said.

"I have been trying hard for many races without luck and finally today things went more smoothly."

He believes the races bodes well for Toyota's 2008 season.

"It is good for the motivation of the team as we head into the winter," Trulli said. "I would like to thank everyone because it has been a hard season but we never gave up.

"That is the most important thing because we have to look ahead to the future, to improve the car and the performance. I believe we have the potential and next year I think we can bounce back up the grid."

Team principal Tadashi Yamashina reckoned Trulli's better-than-usual start had proved critical.

"Jarno did a good job and this type of race is what we have been aiming for," said Yamashina. "It is important to keep the grid position on the first lap. If we can do that, then we can do this kind of race."

Trulli's teammate Ralf Schumacher ended his Toyota career with 11th position after a low-key race. Contact with the Toro Rossos and Heikki Kovalainen at the first corner damaged his car's bodywork, and he was also delayed by a wheelnut problem at his first pitstop.

"It was a very hot day today but that wasn't a problem and the car was good to drive," said the German.

"In the beginning it was a bit tough but after that it was fine. At the start of the race I was in a Toro Rosso sandwich and I lost a bit of ground. But it was a relatively good race from there."

Schumacher admitted that he was sad to be parting company with the team, but said he remained on good terms with the squad.

"It is my last race for Toyota and for sure it is a pity to be leaving after three years," he said.

"This has been a difficult season in terms of results but we tried our best and it simply didn't work out. The team has worked really hard and we have made a lot of changes to the car during the year.

"It has been a pleasure to work with the whole team, both at the factory and at the races and tests.

"I have enjoyed my time here and I am looking forward to seeing some of the guys for a drink in the future."

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