Salo gets back behind the wheel for Toyota

The Toyota Formula 1 team completed another three days of exclusive testing at Monza on Wednesday, with Mika Salo getting back behind the wheel for the first time since he injured his back in a 160mph smash at Paul Ricard in March

Salo gets back behind the wheel for Toyota

The Finn's team mate Allan McNish did the driving for the first two days at the Italian circuit, but handed over to Salo for the final day. The 34-year-old put in the fastest lap of the test, just over half a second ahead of McNish's best time and more than four seconds slower than the best time set by the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya during testing at the beginning of the month.

"It was great to be back in the car today," said Salo. "It has been quite a while since I have driven a Formula 1 car, but now my back has completely recovered I settled back in well. Overall I am happy with the performance of the car, but it was frustrating that we couldn't do more kilometres."

Running was limited to only 84 laps over the three days, due to various reliability problems. Gearbox trouble prevented the Cologne-based team from completing any laps on Monday afternoon. Engine niggles also necessitated two new Toyota V10s to be fitted on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"For various reasons, we have not done as many kilometres as I would have liked at this circuit," said Allan McNish. "The track was also generally very dirty, with little grip, which did not help us achieve all that we wanted to achieve."

The team, which enters the F1 World Championship next year, will return to Paul Ricard in France for its next test later this month.


Mika Salo, 1m29.136s, 25 (Wednesday)
Allan McNish, 1m29.680s, 35 (Tuesday)
Allan McNish, 1m31.140s, 24 (Monday)

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