Panis looks ahead to Brazil

Toyota's Olivier Panis looks ahead to the Brazilian Grand Prix "I have again been keeping busy in between the intercontinental races. Both Cristiano and myself came straight from Malaysia to Europe for a four-day test session in Spain. We have...

Toyota's Olivier Panis looks ahead to the Brazilian Grand Prix

"I have again been keeping busy in between the intercontinental races. Both Cristiano and myself came straight from Malaysia to Europe for a four-day test session in Spain. We have just completed two days each at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, where we concentrated on preparing our TF103s for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Lots of progress was made and the mood in the Panasonic Toyota Racing team was very positive. We also used the opportunity to work for the Spanish Grand Prix because this was our final test before the race in May."

Olivier Panis.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"We did some extensive tyre tests with Michelin, and found two very good rubber compounds for Interlagos. We also worked on general car set-up and, most importantly, we have made big progress on solving the fuel pressure problem that caused my retirement from the opening two races of the year. We missed the opportunity of scoring good points in Australia and Malaysia, which was really frustrating for everyone, so it's vital that we finish races from now on. We seem to have regained some of our pre-season reliability in Barcelona after I completed a massive 103 laps on Thursday with no major problems."

"Interlagos has lots of medium and high-speed corners, which makes it quite similar to Barcelona and, on paper, looks like it should suit our TF103 car. I really, really hope so because I am in F1 to get results."

"I like Interlagos very much. It holds a special value for me, as it was where I made my F1 debut nine years' ago. I have scored many points there in the past and even stood on the podium in 1997. It's a very challenging track, both for the drivers and from a technical point of view, but I think it should suit our car. The long, uphill drag towards the start-finish straight will be good for our powerful RVX-03 engine, so I hope we will have a good car for the race. Turn 1 is the best overtaking place on the lap, so I plan to get some good tows up the hill and then pass people into there!"

"The track is very bumpy, which makes it physically demanding for the drivers, as does its anti-clockwise direction because there is more strain on the left side of our necks. But, to be honest, it's not a big deal for me. I don't even change my training regime for this race; I just accept that I'll be a bit sore on Sunday night and that's the end of it."

"The bumps will also influence the car's handling, but we worked very hard with our damping systems in Barcelona this week because it's important to get the car riding the bumps as smoothly as possible so that the aerodynamics are not upset. We need to find the exact compromise aerodynamically and mechanically to perform at our best there, but we think we have a good solution, which is another reason for us to be confident for the race."

"Brazil will, of course, be the third race with the new regulations. Everyone keeps asking me what I think of one-lap qualifying and whether the cars should be allowed to re-fuel after Saturday qualifying. Seriously, I think the rules are good for the sport because we have had some very mixed-up grids this year, which have resulted in some interesting races."

"For now, though, it's my job to focus on Brazil. Everyone in the team is doing a fantastic job at the moment and I am sure that a good result is just around the corner."

-toyota-

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