Olivier Panis' determination finally paid off in Zeltweg today when he qualified 9th on the grid for tomorrow's Austrian Grand Prix. Two positive days of preparation were rewarded with the optimum set-up for a track where finding the right...
Olivier Panis' determination finally paid off in Zeltweg today when he qualified 9th on the grid for tomorrow's Austrian Grand Prix. Two positive days of preparation were rewarded with the optimum set-up for a track where finding the right balance is notoriously tricky. The team have struggled all weekend to make the same degree of progress on Jacques Villeneuve's side and a disappointing 17th position reflected his frustration.
"I'm really happy to qualify 9th today; it's great news for the team. I've been pushing hard all weekend and we've made good progress through each of the sessions. I almost completed a race distance yesterday and worked through various options to get the car to where it needed to be. There's a chance I could have bettered that in my final run but Bernoldi was slowing on his in-lap and blocked me. Even so, I'm very pleased with what we have."
"We've put a lot into testing recently and that has helped me to get a good set-up for the last two Grands Prix. Last week's test in Estoril was very positive and I have been able to build on that progress here. I'm optimistic about tomorrow's race and ready to push for some points."
"I've struggled to find the right set-up all weekend and for one reason or another we haven't been able to make enough progress. We had some improvement in practice this morning but I went into qualifying with a car I wasn't comfortable with. I decided to run on new tyres for the session and everybody else seemed to be better off on used tyres. The laps weren't very clean so clearly the tyre choice was a mistake. Once again, we'll be relying on the car being better off in the race."
David Richards, Team Principal
"Olivier's 9th position was as good as we could have expected in qualifying and it's disappointing that we weren't able to get the same out of the car for Jacques. This race has however produced a few surprise results from lowly grid positions in the past so there is all to play for tomorrow and hopefully our first points into the bargain."
Jacques Villeneuve; BAR004/07
Best time: 1:10.051 (12 laps)
Olivier Panis: BAR004/04
Best time: 1:09.561 (12 laps)