Monaco GP: Toyota preview

Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Cristiano da Matta - Race Driver, Car 16: "I enjoy racing at the Monaco Grand Prix, and I just missed out on the points on my debut there in 2003. Realistically, though, we ...

Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix

Cristiano da Matta - Race Driver, Car 16:

"I enjoy racing at the Monaco Grand Prix, and I just missed out on the points on my debut there in 2003. Realistically, though, we will struggle to improve on that performance this year. In theory, Monaco is a difficult circuit for us because it's a bumpy track and one that requires lots of downforce, and these are two areas where we still need to find improvements. As I live in Monaco, I can usually go straight home on a scooter after my day's work, so that's a nice feeling and a refreshing change from the other races on the calendar."

Olivier Panis - Race Driver, Car 17:

"To be honest, I don't think Monaco is the perfect circuit for us right now, as our package is not fantastic at low speeds, but I have always enjoyed the grand prix. Apart from winning in 1996, I have also had some very good results there. That's why I'm still quite positive and staying focused on the job in hand."

"Sometimes something happens at Monaco, which can move you up the field, so we will be looking to capitalise if it does. The most important thing about driving at Monaco is to be confident with the car you have but what you need to do is stay concentrated for the whole race and certainly not make any mistakes."

Ricardo Zonta - Third Driver, Car 38:

"I quite enjoy the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. It's a nice place to race, but the track's not easy. I've only raced around the streets once in Formula One, back in 2000. You don't feel like you're driving an F1 car around there purely because we don't reach such high speeds as other tracks. Like Cristiano and many other drivers I live in Monaco. Normally, it is a very quiet place to live with little activity, but at race time it gets very busy. Hopefully the new paddock should make it easier than normal for the pit crews to work."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis:

"The Monaco Grand Prix is unique in terms of the technical and operational challenge it offers. This year, we will benefit from new pit facilities, which promise to make life easier all round. The mere nature of the tight and twisty Monaco circuit means that a driver's input is greater than at any other track on the calendar. The cars will run maximum downforce and must cope with the bumpy street course."

"From Panasonic Toyota Racing's view, we will have to look at extracting all we can from the TF104s, give the drivers as much track time as possible and ensure that as a team we make no mistakes which could affect our performance. Put simply, we have to be reliable, get two cars to the finish and see if we can pick anything up at the end of the weekend."

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:

"On paper, Monaco is not a circuit that suits Toyota's TF104 race cars, as it is a slow-speed, maximum downforce track. Last year we finished the race in ninth position, just out of the points and only behind the top four teams from 2003. We are always pushing hard to improve our overall performance on a daily basis, and our main goal is to show this continuous improvement during each race weekend. We have just completed an encouraging four-day test at Circuit Paul Ricard and I strongly believe that we are as well prepared as we can be to get the maximum from the car in Monaco this weekend."

-toyota-

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