Australian GP: Toyota preview

Comments from the ToyotaF1 team ahead of the Australian Grand Prix Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 16: "I am certainly happy to be going to Australia to begin my second season as a Toyota F1 driver. The weather has got to be better than the ...

Comments from the ToyotaF1 team ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 16:

"I am certainly happy to be going to Australia to begin my second season as a Toyota F1 driver. The weather has got to be better than the cold, wet and even snowy conditions we have seen in Europe in recent weeks."

"Even though we have had several test sessions since we launched the TF104 in January, the Australian Grand Prix will be the first time that we can measure ourselves against the other teams. I still believe that it is too early to set goals or make concrete predictions, but we should be aiming for reliability in the race and a points finish."

"Personally, next week's race will mark my one year anniversary as an F1 driver and over the last twelve months I feel that I have learned a lot. Entering my second year, experience will be the biggest difference; knowing the tracks will definitely be advantageous, but I also believe that I have improved in every area as a driver."

Olivier Panis - Car Number 17:

"After a hectic schedule of winter testing, in which we have completed thousands of kilometres in the TF104s, I am really looking forward to going racing again. Australia is an ideal place to kick off the season, with a welcoming atmosphere and a challenging track in Albert Park. It is difficult to know where we stand in comparison to the other teams at this stage. Testing times are so difficult to read, but next week's race will offer some indication."

"The entire team has worked tremendously hard on our new TF104 car, but we know we have to continue to work hard and continuously improve all areas throughout the year. Whatever the outcome in Melbourne, I am determined to start my second season with Toyota is a positive way."

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:

"We enter our third season in Formula 1 racing on the back of two solid and successful learning years at the height of motorsport. Panasonic Toyota Racing will continue to grow in 2004 and I am very pleased to begin this exciting season as Team Principal. It is an absolute privilege to be the guiding force behind such a skilled workforce, and I hope that we can make a big leap forward this year, to challenge for points at every race, starting this weekend in Melbourne."

"Australia will always bring back memories, not only of our debut race in 2002, but also of our first ever championship point. We will continue to do all we can to make the worldwide Toyota family proud of us and to prove that we have the capabilities to be a real F1 force in the future."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis:

"Our pre-season testing programme has generally gone well and the car has shown that it is reliable, which is especially important for the first three overseas races. During testing we have been concentrating on our own specific programme, but now it will be interesting to get to Australia to see our true level of competitiveness. For Melbourne, we will have several new aerodynamic parts, which together represent a reasonable step forward."

"Our aims for this race are focussed on reliability and finishing the race. I am sure we show a level of performance that will get both cars in the points, as long as we can complete race distance. There are also new sporting and technical regulations and we will be able to run a third car on Fridays, which will be a big help to us. Overall, I am confident that the team will put in a strong all-round performance and it will be an interesting and enjoyable weekend for all of us at Panasonic Toyota Racing."

-toyota-

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