da Matta struggling with new tracks

da Matta struggling with new tracks

Cristiano da Matta admits that not being familiar with some of the circuits on the Formula One calendar is making life difficult for him. The one hour free practice before Friday qualifying is the Toyota rookie's first experience on a lot of...

Cristiano da Matta admits that not being familiar with some of the circuits on the Formula One calendar is making life difficult for him. The one hour free practice before Friday qualifying is the Toyota rookie's first experience on a lot of tracks and da Matta said it's not long enough to get comfortable in the car.

Cristiano da Matta.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"Not having much time to learn new tracks does make my life more difficult, even though I can learn new circuits quite quickly, as I showed in Australia and Malaysia," he told ITV-F1.

"Nevertheless, one hour of free practice just before the first qualifying on Friday is not enough time to be totally comfortable in the car and up to speed. I am sure it had some negative effects on my overall qualifying performance."

This weekend's Spanish Grand Prix should be easier as Toyota has tested at the Circuit de Catalunya and da Matta knows it well: "This weekend in Barcelona should be much better," he said. "Because like most other drivers, we tested there a lot over the winter, so it is the track on the calendar I know best."

Having an experienced team-mate like Olivier Panis is a help to da Matta and he has no problems getting along with the amiable Frenchman. "It has been helpful working with Olivier," said Cristiano.

"He is such a great guy and not only regarding the on-track business-related stuff, he is a very nice person off the track as well. Building a good relationship with teammates outside as well as on the track makes our working relationship much easier and more fun."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Cristiano da Matta