Bahrain GP: Toyota Saturday qualifying notes

Comments from Toyota after qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix Olivier Panis: "We started the season with some different problems but everyone has reacted well to keep pushing and improving. Now we are making steady progress at each race ...

Comments from Toyota after qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Olivier Panis:

"We started the season with some different problems but everyone has reacted well to keep pushing and improving. Now we are making steady progress at each race weekend to optimise everything we have. I am happy with my qualifying lap today. We have both cars in the top ten, so now we have to continue to be strong and to push to the maximum. I believe we are on a good strategy and we have shown reliability in the first two races, so we have to think of getting to the end of the race in the points. The whole team is working very well together and today has been an excellent result for everybody."

Cristiano da Matta:

"I have been pleasantly surprised by our performance at the Bahrain circuit and particularly by this morning's free practice results. I think our car suits this type of smooth surface track, and we have also benefited from competitive Michelin tyres. In qualifying, we tried a slightly lower fuel lap for the first session and it appeared that the track conditions were not as favourable compared to the morning. We topped the fuel up more for the important second run, and overall I am pleased to be starting the race from 9th. With both cars in the top ten, I think we can target a points finish tomorrow, like we almost achieved in Malaysia two weeks' ago."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis:

"Well done to both drivers and the team! It has been a highly satisfying two days for Panasonic Toyota Racing and reward for all the hard work we have all put in since the opening race of the season. To get both cars in the top ten is a tremendous achievement. The cars have been reasonably competitive throughout the whole weekend with a good balance. Considering the reliability we have demonstrated so far this season, we have to look at getting two cars home in the points tomorrow. The Michelin tyre choice was quick and clear for us after yesterday's free practice and the choice has been confirmed by our performance today. We are very happy with the tyres in terms of one-lap performance and consistency, so all in all we are looking good for tomorrow."

Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/03)
Pre-Qualifying: 5th
Lap Time: 1m31.001s (+1.033s)
Qualifying: 8th
Lap Time: 1m31.686s (+1.547s)
Grid Position: 8th

Cristiano da Matta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/02)
Pre-Qualifying: 12th
Lap Time: 1m31.329s (+1.361s)
Qualifying: 9th
Lap Time: 1m31.717s (+1.578s)
Grid Position: 9th

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Mike Gascoyne , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Toyota Racing