Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Ricardo Zonta - Race Driver, Car Number 16 "I am very happy to have been given the chance to race for Toyota. This season has been highly positive for me and I have been very ...
Comments from the Toyota team ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix
Ricardo Zonta - Race Driver, Car Number 16
"I am very happy to have been given the chance to race for Toyota. This season has been highly positive for me and I have been very pleased with the job I have done as Third Driver. My last race was in Hockenheim back in 2001, but racing is in my blood and it gives me a real motivation boost."
"The Hungarian GP will be a weekend of firsts for me; my first as a Toyota race driver, my first in the new TF104B chassis and my debut on the new format Hungaroring. We conducted some encouraging Michelin tyre tests at Jerez prior to Hockenheim especially for this race, so all in all, I am in an optimistic frame of mind."
Olivier Panis - Race Driver, Car Number 17
"The Hungaroring has traditionally been one of the most difficult circuits for overtaking, but the changes made to the circuit for last year's race weekend improved this quite a bit. The Hungaroring is not used much outside of the F1 weekend, so it is very dusty on the opening day, which adds to its challenging nature."
"I have good memories of the track though, because I got a couple of good results there in the past. Panasonic Toyota Racing introduced a revised race car, the TF104B, at the German Grand Prix, which was a step in the right direction, but unfortunately the race result did not reflect our performance, something I hope we can put right in Hungary."
Ryan Briscoe - Third Driver, Car Number 38
"I am really looking forward to making my race weekend debut for Panasonic Toyota Racing in Hungary. I have been part of the Toyota family since the start of 2001 when I joined the Toyota Drivers Academy, as it is now known. The hard work I have put in over the past three years through junior racing formulae and subsequently as a Toyota F1 test driver has now come to fruition."
"Whilst the pressure will undoubtedly be heightened as part of the race team, it is an excellent opportunity for me to show what I am capable of in front of a much bigger audience. I raced at the Hungaroring in 2001 and although the layout has changed slightly since then, I hope to get straight down to business on Friday morning with Michelin tyre evaluation. I can't wait to get started."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"The most notable change we have for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix is with the driver line-up. Ricardo Zonta steps up to race alongside Olivier Panis after many strong performances in his role as Third Driver. I believe that his combination of experience from previous F1 races and extensive testing with Panasonic Toyota Racing will enable him to rise to the challenge."
"Meanwhile, Ryan Briscoe will have his first taste of grand prix activity, taking control of the third car in Friday practice. Ryan has been consistently quick in testing with good technical feedback, so I am confident he will do well for the team. Toyota had a reasonable package in Hungary last year but we failed to convert that in the race. With our new TF104B, I hope we can enjoy a successful weekend this time around."
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis
"The Hungarian Grand Prix is an important weekend for us, having run the TF104B for the first time in Hockenheim three weeks' ago and seen the performance gains that we were expecting. We now need to capitalise on that increased competitiveness and extract the full potential out of the car."
"The Hungaroring is a slow speed, maximum downforce circuit, which places an emphasis on aero efficiency. Overtaking is notoriously difficult, so we will have to adopt the correct strategy to ensure that we qualify and race well. We simply have to do a solid, professional job and show what we can do as a team."