Monaco GP: Toyota preview

Formula 1's most historic and famous event, the Monaco Grand Prix, is the next race on the 2002 calendar. The challenge of the most difficult street track in the world makes this, round seven of the Formula 1 world championship, totally ...

Formula 1's most historic and famous event, the Monaco Grand Prix, is the next race on the 2002 calendar. The challenge of the most difficult street track in the world makes this, round seven of the Formula 1 world championship, totally unique.

This will be Panasonic Toyota Racing's first Monaco Grand Prix - as it is for Allan McNish too. Mika Salo starts his 100th GP this weekend and he has an impressive record here: in six starts he has finished in the points on four occasions.

Panasonic Toyota Racing arrived in Monaco on Monday to set up its temporary pit in the multi-storey car park that is its home for the duration of the grand prix week. It has taken four TF102s to this race - one spare car for each driver.

Since the Austrian GP two weeks ago, Panasonic Toyota Racing's test team has been busy at Paul Ricard. Mika and Allan did some aerodynamic testing in preparation for next month's Canadian Grand Prix, as well as some tyre tests and mechanical work for this race.

Ove Andersson, President

"I was pleased with our performance in Austria. In a race of high attrition we did a good job to get both cars to the end of the race. As for Monaco, it's difficult to know what to expect because we have never been there before. More than anything, this weekend is going to be about gaining experience at a difficult circuit."

Mika Salo

"One hundred races - that must make me very old! To be honest with you, it feels more like 10. It's nice that I celebrate my 100th in Monaco because this is a race that I really enjoy. The track is very challenging and the driver can still make a real difference, even with all the electronics that we have on the cars these days. Our TF102 isn't ideally suited to Monaco but, if we can get to the end of the race, then we should be in with a chance of a points finish."

Allan McNish

"I've never driven at Monaco, so the first session is going to be spent getting to know the track. I live in Monaco, so I can assure you that I've done plenty of laps in a road car, but it will feel totally different in an F1 car. As a rule, I enjoy street tracks, so I'm looking forward to the challenge. We've found reliability over the past couple of races, so let's hope that this continues this weekend."

Mika Salo on Monaco: "The most important thing about Monaco is not to hit anything - not even on the first day. If you hit something early on in the weekend, it's hard to get the momentum back. There are lots of tricky places on the lap, where you have to be careful: the entry and exit of Casino Square, the chicane, and the Swimming Pool is very quick. The thing about Monaco is that every corner counts and, for a driver, there is no time to rest. That makes for a long 78 laps on race day."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Allan McNish , Mika Salo
Teams Toyota Racing