Panis: 11th year in Formula One

Olivier Panis enters the 2004 Formula 1 World Championship confident of continuing the progress he made with the Panasonic Toyota Racing Team in 2003. He ended last season - his first with the team - on a high when he qualified third for the ...

Olivier Panis enters the 2004 Formula 1 World Championship confident of continuing the progress he made with the Panasonic Toyota Racing Team in 2003.

He ended last season - his first with the team - on a high when he qualified third for the United States Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season, and Olivier aims to repeat such feats on a regular basis in '04.

Olivier Panis.
Photo by Toyota Racing.
"The aim for this year is very clear," he says. "We want to be competitive at every race and that means scoring points in every race, and progress throughout the year to try to challenge for the team's first ever podium position."

This year holds many advantages over last year for Olivier and, most importantly, that he is no longer new to the team. He can hit the ground running because he now knows everyone in the team and, having identified all the strengths and weaknesses of last year's TF103, he can look forward to driving the all-new TF104 with confidence.

"I had a great first season with Panasonic Toyota Racing," continues Olivier. "At the beginning of last year I needed to learn the team and they needed to learn the way that I like to work. That is all finished now and we can go to the first race of the season certain that we can extract the maximum from ourselves and from the car."

The Frenchman is among the elite group of drivers who have won a Grand Prix, having mastered the streets of Monaco in wet conditions back in 1996. The 2004 season will be Olivier's 11th in Formula 1, which makes him the third most experienced driver in F1 and, at 37, also the oldest. Although he will celebrate his 150th Formula 1 race this season, he says that his motivation and passion for the sport remain undiminished.

"I think I want to succeed more now than at any time in the past. I really believe in what we have at Toyota and want to ensure that we achieve success in Formula 1 as soon as possible."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis
Teams Toyota Racing