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Toyota 'as Competitive as in Malaysia'

Toyota are looking as competitive as they were in Malaysia two weeks ago, according to chief race engineer Dieter Gass

The Japanese squad hope to keep their momentum after scoring their first Formula One podium at Sepang, where Italian Jarno Trulli finished second to Renault's Fernando Alonso.

Toyota started their Bahrain Grand Prix weekend strongly, with third driver Ricardo Zonta topping the times in the opening session. In the afternoon he was not so lucky, however, after suffering a problem with his gearbox.

"This could have been slightly problematic for us today, but we managed to go through the programme with both Jarno and Ralf, so we feel that the data we have collected will give us a clear direction," said Gass of Zonta's problem.

"We will obviously continue to make improvements in tomorrow's two practice sessions, but at the moment, the cars appear to be as competitive as in Malaysia, which bodes well for the rest of the weekend."

Zonta's time was the second fastest of the day, although comparisons between the sessions meant little given changing track conditions and temperatures.

Trulli, meanwhile, was sixth quickest, with Ralf Schumacher down in 10th.

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