Belgian GP: Toyota race notes

Comments from the Toyota team after the Belgian Grand Prix Olivier Panis: "At the start, I hit one of the Saubers in front of me and I had to go back to the pits for a front wing and tyre change. After that I was at the back of the field, but...

Comments from the Toyota team after the Belgian Grand Prix

Olivier Panis:

"At the start, I hit one of the Saubers in front of me and I had to go back to the pits for a front wing and tyre change. After that I was at the back of the field, but I tried my best to recover the positions. The car ran quite well in the race with no big issues and I was able to make up ground."

"After the safety car periods, it was difficult to heat up the hard compound tyre we had opted to use, so I lost places to Klien and Coulthard. I took one point, which is the positive thing, but it was a day when we really could have scored more. I am disappointed for Ricardo and for everyone at Toyota. This was our first engine failure of the year, but at a time when we really didn't need it."

Ricardo Zonta:

"After the difficult qualifying session yesterday, it was very good for me to be running in fourth place in today's race before my engine blew. With three laps to go, I was certain that we had the car to hold on to that position. This was the chance that I have been waiting for many years, so I am obviously disappointed."

"I was pushing really hard throughout the race and it was nice to see a Toyota racing with a Ferrari towards the end. In my opinion, the team really demonstrated their potential here in Spa and I am happy with the job that everyone has done all weekend."

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal:

"Today's Belgian Grand Prix was an encouraging, strong race for Panasonic Toyota Racing. We made all the right decisions regarding our Michelin tyre choice and race strategy, so it was a disappointing final result. To have been in a strong fourth position with just three laps to go and then have an engine failure was extremely cruel. Our engine reliability has been strong all season, so we will look into what caused the failure today."

"We have to remain positive. In the race, the strategy developed exactly as we expected it to. After a highly professional job from the team this weekend, we have to be pleased to go back to Cologne with Olivier's hard-earned championship point and look ahead to Monza with optimism."

Olivier Panis
Car 17, Chassis TF104/09B
Session Classification: 8th, +18.693s (from race winner)
Grid: 9th

Ricardo Zonta
Car 16, Chassis TF104/10B
Session Classification: 10th, +3 laps (from race winner)
Grid: 20th

-toyota-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Ricardo Zonta
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Toyota Racing