Mika Salo today scored the first ever World Championship point for Panasonic Toyota Racing in its maiden Grand Prix. Although things did not appear too good for the team after both drivers were caught up in an incident on the opening lap, which ...
Mika Salo today scored the first ever World Championship point for Panasonic Toyota Racing in its maiden Grand Prix. Although things did not appear too good for the team after both drivers were caught up in an incident on the opening lap, which forced Allan McNish to retire.
"We had a great race today. I was hit on the first lap and we had to change the track rod at the rear, but the car felt quick and reliable after that. I am very happy for the team, they have worked really well this weekend. I have had championship points before but this point is probably the most important."
"It was quite disappointing not getting past the opening lap of our first Grand Prix. Even though I could not finish the race I gained a lot more experience during the weekend. I am thrilled for Mika scoring a point. The team have been superb."
Tsutomu Tomita, Chairman
"After the start of the race I was eventually very relieved we still had one car in the race. Both drivers did an excellent job in our first Grand Prix. Of course Allan was unfortunate but with Mika finishing in 6th we have a good base for Malaysia."
Mika Salo ended free practice in 6th position on Friday with Allan McNish in 16th. Qualifying was affected by bad weather conditions, but with only one flying lap Mika and Allan qualified for the race in 14th and 16th positions.
Panasonic Toyota Racing will test next week at its home base of Paul Ricard in France. Test driver Stéphane Sarrazin will make his debut run in the TF102 at the two-day session on 7 and 8 March 2002. The circuit will be closed to the media.
Mika Salo - Car No 24
Position: 6th, 1h44m.233s, 56 laps completed
Allan McNish - Car No 25 Position: Retired - Accident, 0 laps completed Chassis: TF102/05
Weather: Dry race.
Average Temperatures: Air 19°C, Track 23°C, Humidity 67%.
Chassis TF102/02 set up for Mika Salo