Toyota Duo Rue Missed Chance

Ralf Schumacher joined several other drivers in lamenting his decision to switch to dry-weather tyres during today's Belgian Grand Prix

Schumacher made a perfectly-timed first pitstop that moved him into second place after the Safety Car was deployed, but his Toyota team then decided to switch to dry-weather tyres when the circuit was still very wet.

The gamble didn't work and Schumacher fell down to 12th position before fighting his way back into seventh.

"That was a very tough race," said Schumacher. "The timing of the safety car period worked to our advantage early on and we were in good shape. We were quick in the conditions, everything was going well and the strategy was well defined.

"Then we just decided to go onto dry tyres too early. It was a very close decision, but we took it together and we got it wrong. Like everyone we expected the track to dry out a lot faster than it did.

"Instead the track was incredibly slow to dry out. It was amazing how slippery the circuit was, and I can't remember seeing a race like that. We came straight back in and that enabled us to score some points. The team did a great job but we just got one decision wrong."

Teammate Jarno Trulli endured a difficult day after having qualified in third position.

The Italian said he had asked his team to put intermediate tyres, but Toyota opted for dries and Trulli paid the price, dropping to 13th position.

Trulli then crashed out of the race when he tried to avoid hitting the Jordan of Tiago Monteiro.

"Today I was definitely capable of fighting for a podium," said Trulli. "The car was very quick, and we were able to run at the same pace as the McLarens early on. The car was handling well and we were very good on the tyres. But when the safety car came out we had to make a quick decision about which tyres to take.

"The track was still damp so I asked to stay on intermediates but the team decided to put me on dry tyres. It was a bit of a gamble and as it turned out it was not the right choice. When I came out I was barely able to maintain the pace of the safety car and we went to the back after we stopped again.

"I worked my way back up through the field but late on I was following Monteiro when he accidentally hit the pit limiter button. I had no way of avoiding him and I hit him, losing my front wing and going off into the wall."

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