European GP: Toyota preview

Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the European Grand Prix Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 16 "We are heading to the European Grand Prix on the back of our successful points-scoring Monaco race, but I think it is unlikely that we will ...

Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the European Grand Prix

Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 16

"We are heading to the European Grand Prix on the back of our successful points-scoring Monaco race, but I think it is unlikely that we will be able to repeat that performance this weekend. The Nürburgring is another maximum downforce, slow-medium speed circuit, which on paper should not suit us, so we simply have to keep pushing to extract the most from our TF104 race car."

"With our factory just down the road in Cologne, the Nürburgring is effectively a home Grand Prix for Panasonic Toyota Racing, so we will have the additional support of all the team employees watching from the grandstands, which will be very welcome. I just hope we can give them all something to cheer about."

Olivier Panis - Car Number 17

"We don't have much time to reflect on the four championship points that we scored last weekend in Monaco as our thoughts have already turned to the European Grand Prix weekend at the Nürburgring. We had a highly competitive package at this race last year, and I was fastest in two of the practice sessions, but in the end we were unable to turn that performance into points. I think this weekend's race will be much tougher, but we are working in the right direction and everyone wants to do well at the Nürburgring, a local race to everyone in the team in Cologne."

Ricardo Zonta - Car Number 38

"I last raced at the Nürburgring back in 2000 before the recent changes to the first corner, so I will have to learn the new infield section on Friday morning. I don't see that as a big problem and I am looking forward to again assisting the team with tyre selection and car set-up in free practice. Michelin did a very good job for us in Monaco, and I believe we are making small steps ahead in all areas in terms of the car's performance."

"Because we don't have testing this week, most of the Nürburgring preparations were done at Paul Ricard before the Monaco GP. After our good result at the last race, I hope we can continue that trend in Nürburgring in front of the team's home crowd, although I think we will again be looking at battling with Jaguar, Sauber and McLaren-Mercedes for the midfield positions."

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal

"The four points we scored at Monaco were very good news for the whole Toyota family, fans, and sponsors around the world, but we know that we still need further improvements and developments to catch the teams in front of us. The Nürburgring circuit is not far from our factory in Cologne and most of our employees will go to the track to support their colleagues."

"I said prior to the last race that Monaco is not one of the circuits that suit our TF104s, but we demonstrated our reliability and a good performance in the race, setting the eighth and ninth fastest race laps. With our usual strong motivation, we will keep pushing ourselves at the Nürburgring this weekend."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Ricardo Zonta , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren