Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis finished ninth and 12th in the Malaysian Grand Prix Cristiano da Matta: "It was quite a difficult race. The limited running I had during the practice sessions did not affect my qualifying lap yesterday, but...
Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis finished ninth and 12th in the Malaysian Grand Prix
Cristiano da Matta:
"It was quite a difficult race. The limited running I had during the practice sessions did not affect my qualifying lap yesterday, but I think it hurt us in the race today. I suffered from a lot of understeer throughout, and unfortunately the adjustments we made during the pitstops did not really help much. I got a good start up to eighth place into the first corner, but I was forced to run wide at turn 4, which lost me a lot of places. From there, we used some good pitstop work to make up the places we lost, but I have to admit that it is a bit frustrating to finish ninth and just outside the points."
"My start was very good and I made up a couple of positions, but I think that somebody must have pushed me from the back because I spun. I worked hard to make my way through the field after that to regain positions and was running quite strongly in tenth place until a radio communication problem resulted in an unscheduled pitstop. It is a real pity because the car felt good and was handling well. The final result showed that we could have been in contention for a point today. Nevertheless, I take heart from the hard work the team has put in since Melbourne to significantly improve our overall package and I am looking forward to the next race in Bahrain."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:
"To have a second consecutive two-car finish is extremely good and underlines the reliability of the TF104s. Both drivers suffered from a lot of traffic confusion on the opening lap, but the overall result has also been a little bit better than Melbourne, which is certainly pleasing. We clearly still need to find some pace, but we are always heading in the right way and know what we have to do."
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis:
"Ultimately, it was disappointing not to get both cars in the top ten today and to miss out on a championship point by one position. After good starts, both drivers had difficulties on their first laps, which meant that the first half of the race was spent trying to get past the cars in front of us. Some good strategy resulted in us getting past them, but a radio communication problem meant that Olivier came into the pits unnecessarily and then got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane. Overall, it was good to see both cars to the finish line to maintain a 100% finish record, and a much stronger performance than we had in Melbourne."
Cristiano da Matta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/02)
Session Classification: 9th, +1 lap (from race winner)
Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/03)
Session Classification: 12th, +1 lap (from race winner)