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.

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