Panasonic Toyota Racing got one TF103 to the chequered flag after an eventful, yet ultimately disappointing Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang today. Despite qualifying in 11th place, Cristiano da Matta had to start the race from the pitlane after a...
Panasonic Toyota Racing got one TF103 to the chequered flag after an eventful, yet ultimately disappointing Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang today. Despite qualifying in 11th place, Cristiano da Matta had to start the race from the pitlane after a throttle problem on his warm-up lap forced him to use the T-car. The Brazilian crossed the finish line in 11th place. Frenchman Olivier Panis retired from the race on lap 13 with a fuel pressure problem after running strongly in the top 5 in the early stages.
Cristiano da Matta
"It was a very tough race today. On the way to the grid I had a problem with the race car, so I had to jump in the T-car and start from the pitlane. We then had a problem with the fuel pressure running on a lighter fuel load, so I had to run the whole race on a full tank, which made overtaking impossible. It is very frustrating, but as the race started I had to forget about it and just do my best. Obviously, it is disappointing, as I feel we could have finished in the points today, but hopefully we can do just that in my first home F1 race in Brazil in two weeks' time."
"I had a really good start in the race and was up into the top five, having a good battle early on with Barrichello. Things were looking really promising for us and the car was very competitive. I came in for my scheduled pit stop and we put in some fuel, but after three corners the fuel pressure suddenly went down and the engine died. The problem was very similar to what we experienced in Melbourne, but at the moment we don't know if it is exactly the same. Right now, I am quite angry and I am disappointed for the team, because everybody has done a very good job this weekend. The car still has a lot left to give and I am not the type of guy to give up, so we will get results soon."
Ove Andersson - Team Principal
"I am very disappointed because we were in a strong position to get very good results today, with a competitive car and a good strategy, but we have had the same problem as we had in Melbourne on both cars. We at least have a specific problem to deal with now, and simply have to get it fixed for the next race. Competitiveness is one thing, but we now have to focus on the most important thing, which is reliability."
Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 21
Chassis TF103/02 (T-car)
Classification: 11th, 55/56 laps completed
Starting Position: Pitlane (11th in second qualifying)
Best Lap: 1m38.156s
Olivier Panis - Car Number 20
Classification: DNF, 12/56 laps completed
Starting Position: 10th
Best Lap: 1m38.176s
T-Car: TF103/02 set up for Olivier Panis, modified and used by Da Matta in the race.