After his TF103 stalled on the starting grid, Cristiano da Matta drove a consistent race to salvage an 11th-placed finish in an otherwise troublesome Hungarian Grand Prix for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team at the Hungaroring today. Olivier Panis...
After his TF103 stalled on the starting grid, Cristiano da Matta drove a consistent race to salvage an 11th-placed finish in an otherwise troublesome Hungarian Grand Prix for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team at the Hungaroring today. Olivier Panis lost five places at the start of the race and was gradually making his way back through the field before gearbox gremlins forced him to retire during his second scheduled pit stop.
Cristiano da Matta:
"Firstly, I want to apologise to the team for stalling on the grid. From 15th, I was looking for a good start, however I got on the launch button a bit too quickly. I hit the brakes to avoid jumpstarting but there was not enough time for the anti-stall to kick in. The team got me started again in the pitlane, but by that point I was over a lap down and I had to really push hard to make up ground. The car's balance was still towards the oversteer side, but the overall grip was good, so I am naturally disappointed with this result."
"Understandably, we are all a little bit disappointed. I came in for my second stop and when I went to drive away I heard a noise and knew instantly what had happened. Of course, these things can happen sometimes, but we need to find out exactly what went wrong. The car felt good up to that point and after losing five places at the start, I was making good progress through the field. Despite this result, we are continuing to head in a good direction, so we need to prepare well for the next race in Monza. I am looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix because Monza is a track that should suit our car, and I believe we should be in a strong position to pick up points there.
Ove Andersson - Team Principal:
"I think we had a quite competitive car for today's Hungarian Grand Prix, but unfortunately we were not able to capitalise on this. Cristiano had a problem at the start, which effectively ended his race and Olivier was driving a strong race before his gearbox broke. Even without these problems, I think it would have been very difficult for us to score points in today's race. The team has worked well throughout this weekend, and we are shortly heading for a test in Monza before the Italian Grand Prix in three weeks' time - where I think we can be optimistic for a good points finish."
Cristiano da Matta
Car Number 21, Chassis TF103/04
Classification: 11th + 2 laps (from race winner)
Grid Position: 15th
Car Number 20, Chassis TF103/08
Classification: DNF + 37 laps (from race winner)
Grid Position: 10th