French GP: Toyota preview

Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the French Grand Prix Cristiano da Matta - Race Driver, Car 16: "The US Grand Prix at Indianapolis was easily our best race weekend of the year so far - our pace was such that we could score points ...

Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the French Grand Prix

Cristiano da Matta - Race Driver, Car 16:

"The US Grand Prix at Indianapolis was easily our best race weekend of the year so far - our pace was such that we could score points without depending on anyone else's bad luck. But to do the same in Magny-Cours or Silverstone, I think will require a little bit of help. Magny-Cours is a high downforce circuit, so that doesn't really suit our car at the moment, but we should be helped by the fact that the tarmac is very smooth. Panasonic Toyota Racing made a point last year so we'll be aiming for a repeat top eight performance."

Olivier Panis - Race Driver, Car 17:

"I'm very happy to be going back to Magny-Cours again as it is particularly special for me to race in front of the French fans. I really want to get a result for them, for me and for the team because the fifth place we achieved in Indianapolis was extremely positive. We simply have to keep going in this direction. Realistically, it may be harder to score so well in Magny-Cours, but last year we were quite competitive there, so we have a chance."

"My approach in France will be no different to anywhere else - I'll be pushing as hard as ever. Silverstone is another circuit that is not too bad for us, and it's quite important to score points in these next two races, so it will set us up well for the arrival of the updated car at Hockenheim."

Ricardo Zonta - Third Driver, Car 38:

"Magny-Cours is not one of my favourite race tracks, but it's not one of my least favourites either. The first two corners are nice, fast corners and the asphalt on the circuit is very smooth, which means as a driver you don't have to ride over as many bumps as other tracks. I've tested there a lot both in F3000 and F1 but the track is very sensitive to weather conditions so it tends to change a lot. I haven't yet driven on the new layout for the last few corners, which they introduced for last year's race, so that will be something new to look forward to on Friday."

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:

"It has been quite apparent that all of us here at Panasonic Toyota Racing have demonstrated a greater level of competitiveness at the two stateside races in Montreal and Indianapolis, culminating in our fifth-place finish at the last race. This upturn has been much appreciated after the difficult start we have had to the season."

"This week's French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours will be Olivier's home race and I am sure he will be more motivated than ever. After his recent disappointments, I am convinced Cristiano will be unyielding in his approach to this race weekend. We have everything in place to move forward. We are developing a revised car in order to make headway on the leading teams and to be even stronger as the season progresses."

-toyota-

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