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Toyota drivers face questions after collision

Written by: Staff

BARCELONA, May 14 (Reuters) Toyota left the Spanish Grand Prix with more questions than answers today after their drivers collided in the race.

Germany's Ralf Schumacher tried to overtake team mate Jarno Trulli on lap 16 at the Circuit de Catalunya, with their cars touching and the Italian's right rear tyre breaking Ralf's front wing.

Ralf retired with a later electronic problem while Trulli finished 10th, still pointless after six races.

''It looks like we will have to spend a lot of time analysing what went wrong today,'' said team boss Tsutomu Tomita in a team release. ''We have to understand why we could not race at the speed of the top teams.

''First we have to learn why our starts were so poor because that was one of the causes of the issues we had in the race.

''We also have to analyse Jarno's car performance to find out why he struggled for the second race in a row. We will need to investigate the causes when we arrive back in Cologne.

''Finally, we have to understand why our two drivers had a collision. At Toyota our philosophy is very much based around racing. We are a race team and that means our drivers have to be free to race -- but with one limit.'' Toyota, considered the biggest-spending team in Formula One, have struggled this season after their best performance yet last year when they finished fourth overall.

The team are bringing out a heavily revised car for the next Monaco Grand Prix, the glamour highlight of the season, and will test this week at Le Castellet in the south of France.

Trulli declared Sunday's collision to be a racing incident and said he had not even felt the impact.

''The first time I noticed that we had touched was when Ralf disappeared from my mirrors,'' he said.

''No one was to blame...but I'm really sorry because he's my team mate and no-one wants to have any problems inside the team.

''I hope we can clarify the situation and I'm sure we will.'' REUTERS SY VC2359

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