Mixed fortunes for Toyota in Italy

Toyota experienced an up-and-down first day of practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, with Mika Salo in the top six but team-mate Allan McNish missed out on valuable track time due to a gearbox failure

Mixed fortunes for Toyota in Italy

Toyota's highly impressive engine pushed Salo around the ultra-quick venue in 1m23.925s, just 1.4s slower than pacesetter Michael Schumacher of Ferrari.

"We are again at a circuit suited relatively well to our car," said Salo. "We can use the engine to good effect and the low downforce requirements are working to our advantage. We tested here last week, and it looked quite promising for the race. We had no major problems in today's two practice sessions other than some small issues with handling. The car generally seems to be fine and I am quite happy."

McNish had to alight from his car and push it along the pit lane after it failed as he attempted a practice start.

McNish said: "We had a difficult day with a big imbalance in the car from the start. We did some changes, but that didn't cure the problem. In the second session we tried a launch start but had a gearbox-related problem and the guys did a really good job changing the rear end.

"You can't afford to lose any time on Friday, let alone effectively two sessions. It is a bad start to the weekend, but hopefully we can recover the car we had in testing last week and it won't be so much of an issue."

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