Belgian GP: Toyota Saturday qualifying notes

Comments from the Toyota team after qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix Olivier Panis: "It was a good qualifying session for us today. I did a very good lap running with full wet tyres and the team managed everything well in difficult ...

Comments from the Toyota team after qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix

Olivier Panis:

"It was a good qualifying session for us today. I did a very good lap running with full wet tyres and the team managed everything well in difficult conditions. We have opted to run a different tyre compound compared to other Michelin runners this weekend, which worked well in yesterday's dry practice sessions. To be ninth on the grid with the strategy we have opted for and the tyres we have selected, I am very confident that we can have a strong race tomorrow."

Ricardo Zonta:

"My grid position was affected a lot by the mistake I made in the first qualifying session. There was not much grip on the track due to the large amount of rain that had fallen all morning. I ran over one of the white lines around the track, but it was very slippery and I was sent into the gravel."

"The team did an incredible job trying to repair the car for the second qualifying session, but some of the aero parts were damaged, which unbalanced the car a lot for my second run. I am very sorry for the team, but I hope our strategy will work to our advantage and enable me to work my way up through the field."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis:

"With weather conditions like the ones we experienced today, qualifying is always a bit of a lottery and so it proved for us today with mixed fortunes for our drivers. In the first session, Ricardo ran wide over the one of the kerbs, which caused the car to snap away from him."

"Although he didn't hit the barrier too hard, it caused quite a bit of damage to the rear of the car and to the undertray, which had to be changed. We only had a few minutes to do all of that work and, although we were able to get the car out in time, it was missing a significant number of components, which compromised Ricardo's lap."

Olivier wasn't happy with the balance of his car in the first session, but we improved everything for the important run and he drove a strong qualifying lap. The weather conditions played slightly into our hands towards the end of the session and consequently, Olivier will start from a highly encouraging ninth on the grid. We are very optimistic for a strong race performance from both cars in tomorrow's race."

Olivier Panis
Car 17, Chassis TF104/09B
Pre-Qualifying: 18th
Lap Time: 2m01.472s (+7.717s)
Qualifying: 9th
Lap Time: 1m59.552s (+3.320s)
Grid Position: 9th

Ricardo Zonta
Car 16, Chassis TF104/10B
Pre-Qualifying: 20th
No Lap Time
Qualifying: 20th
Lap Time: 2m03.895s (+7.663s)
Grid Position: 20th

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Ricardo Zonta , Mike Gascoyne