The final round of the 2002 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, began in Suzuka today. Panasonic Toyota Racing had a promising start to its home grand prix with drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish completing a relatively ...
The final round of the 2002 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, began in Suzuka today. Panasonic Toyota Racing had a promising start to its home grand prix with drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish completing a relatively trouble-free 86 laps between them. Both drivers worked on car set-up for the race and Michelin tyre comparisons with Salo classified 11th, McNish 14th.
"No major problems today. The car is working quite fine and we concentrated on preparations for the race, as usual for a Friday - car set-up, tyres and tyre pressures. We did quite a lot of laps, doing long runs to see the effects on the tyres and things seem quite good. It's a bit surprising. We had some difficulties when we tested here last year and things went better than I expected today."
"It's been quite a usual Friday session, trying to get a good balance on the car and trying to work out what to do on tyre choice. I think Michelin have brought a tyre that works well on our car and gives a good balance. We have to work on variable grip levels around the track and we had some understeer in places, but I am sure that is curable before tomorrow's sessions."
Ange Pasquali - Team Manager
"We have not quite managed our tyre comparison on both cars. Mika was held up by traffic on his second set of tyres, but we have been able to understand quite a lot and I think we are going in a good direction with car set-up. We have to continue this tomorrow morning and optimise the car for qualifying. It will be very important to choose the correct tyre compound for the weekend - I think that will be the key to being competitive or not in the race."
Mika Salo - Car No. 24
Position: 11th, 1m36.893s
43 laps completed
Allan McNish - Car No. 25
Position: 14th, 1m37.384s
43 laps completed