Schumacher Confident of Toyotas Resurgence

By: Lauren Woods

With nine races already in the book in the current Formula One season, Toyota is showing signs of resurgence. Early in the season, the Japanese Formula One team made a statement saying that they will be aiming to overtake third place BMW Sauber in the constructors' championship standing before the end of the season.

The first half of the season though for the Japanese team was disappointing. Ralf Schumacher, one of the drivers for the team, has performed poorly as his car does not match his driving style.

During the last two races though, the German Formula One driver showed signs of a good performance. At the French Grand Prix, Schumacher qualified for the eleventh spot. After the race, the German finished in tenth place.

Then at the British Grand Prix, Schumacher had his best qualifying session this season as he posted the sixth fastest lap time which means he would be starting from the third row. Unfortunately, the German was not able to finish the race as his car with its Toyota engine designed to provide much more power than a conventional engine with a suffered a malfunction.

"I retired just after one-third distance," said Schumacher. "I felt the wheel fixation problem as I came into the complex and it was a pity because we were strong all weekend and I was confident of a good result. Our performance level was good all weekend and we really expected to finish strongly. Unfortunately, after qualifying sixth I lost positions at the start but after that I was able to set lap times which competitive with the cars in front. That showed we had the potential to fight for a top-six finish."

Although he and his teammate Jarno Trulli were not able to finish at the British Grand Prix, Schumacher is still elated with the progress that they are making. "It's simply that under certain circumstances our car is very competitive," he said. "We have seen it in Barcelona and we looked good in terms of pace in Magny-Cours too, but we had problems so we didn't get the results we wanted. We just need to extend that window a bit. I was happy for the team because they are really working hard and deserved to see an improvement. I have to say that the car has suited me well for the last two Grands Prix."

The German will be making an appearance in front of his countrymen at the next race of the season which will be held at the NÃ?rburgring in Nurburg, Germany. The European Grand Prix will be the only event on German soil this season.

The aim now for Schumacher is to make the best out of the second half of the season. The German Formula One driver who is rumored to be on the way out after a dismal start to the season is now looking more confident in his car. "Over the last few races I've become increasingly comfortable with my set-up and the whole team is working hard as we chase a successful second half of the year," Schumacher said.

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