Ralf Schumacher

Ralf Schumacher made his long-awaited Toyota debut at Barcelona on Wednesday. For the German it was a totally new environment after six years with the Williams team, but Schumacher settled quickly into the test and ended the day second quickest overall. Autosport.com was there to get his first reactions

Ralf Schumacher

It was pretty easy, to be honest. I've been long enough in Formula 1 and I've worked with two different teams before, but I must say the people in here are helping me a lot and it was really easy to come into the team as I was given full support by everybody. I must say that after one day with the team on the track I feel like I've been with Toyota for a while already.

My motivation never dropped and I think I clearly showed it when I came back after my accident. You come to a team, you sign for them and it's not only a contract, it's something you believe in and something you want to finish in a proper way. So, the motivation was never a problem, but certainly if you start from where we, at Toyota, are now, it's even more challenging, because there's a lot of work to do. It's a different challenge for me.

There are always positive and negative things and I was very open minded about it but it has been very positive. In fact I have been very positively surprised by the package. The atmosphere has been great and I had a very nice reception and I think I fit in very well in the team.

I must say there were only pleasant surprises today, mainly from the car. It all felt well, the car had a good balance and we did quite a lot of work today. It was very interesting work for me but I'm sure it was pretty boring for the team as they'd gone through that many times, but for me it was interesting. I tried a few things on the car and tomorrow will be another learning day, hopefully completely painless like today and in Jerez we'll start our proper testing.

The car ran well with no problems the whole day, so it was a positive start. Of course the car is still not quick enough, but it was better than I expected, so I was pleasantly surprised. It reacts to the changes we do, it's very easy to balance, and so I'm fairly happy.

Yes, it's a bit of learning about the car and the team and also for them to learn how to work with me, before we go into more detailed work, because it's difficult to go into the details if you don't have a mutual knowledge to start with.

Were there any nerves driving for a new team after six years with Williams?

I was not really nervous I was just so looking forward to it. But there is this positive tension when you want something so much for months and I just wanted to know how it was to drive the car. But I wasn't nervous at all

Like I said it was very positive. I expected much worse because after what I had seen on the track. The handling was okay and the time is good and considering this circuit is not one of the easiest tracks, it's a good start.

It's a bit early to start speaking about 2005 until we try the new car but both Jarno and I are here to try to improve the situation and make Toyota more competitive.

Obviously if everything goes well I would like to be further up the grid. I won't be happy if it doesn't happen, but how far we get depends on how we develop the car. You never know what happens, who expected BAR to be so fast this year? So we will work on it and see what happens. But in the last six years I've learnt all about patience. I think I have got enough.

shares
comments
Red Bull Chief Says Klien Deserves Second Chance
Previous article

Red Bull Chief Says Klien Deserves Second Chance

Next article

Fisi undaunted by Alonso

Fisi undaunted by Alonso
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023