Panis looks ahead to Silverstone

Toyota's Olivier Panis lookes ahead to the British Grand Prix "Having scored a world championship point in France two weeks ago - my first at home in 10 years of Formula 1! - I go to the British Grand Prix this weekend full of confidence. I...

Toyota's Olivier Panis lookes ahead to the British Grand Prix

"Having scored a world championship point in France two weeks ago - my first at home in 10 years of Formula 1! - I go to the British Grand Prix this weekend full of confidence. I think the track should suit our TF103 because it handles better on medium and high-speed tracks, and Silverstone is really fast and challenging."

Olivier Panis.
Photo by Toyota Racing.
"After Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka, Silverstone is one of my favourite circuits. I know it well, having driven for a couple of British teams in the past and done a lot of testing there, and it's a place where you have to push very hard to get the maximum from the car."

"The beginning section of the lap is the most interesting because the first corner is completely blind, yet you take it flat-out in sixth gear. Then, immediately afterwards, is Becketts, which is one of the best corners in the world. You enter the first right-hander flat-out in top gear and have a series of fast direction changes afterwards, where it is easy to lose time if you are not very precise. The G-forces through here are very high, so it is very exciting to drive."

"The Panasonic Toyota Racing team has lots of good data for the track with this year's car because my team-mate Cristiano Da Matta tested there six weeks ago. I missed that test because I was in Monza, but Cristiano said the TF103 reacted well to set-up changes and was stable under braking, which is important because there are several big stops on the lap."

"Another reason why I am confident for the weekend is that we have some new aero parts on the car, which seemed like a big improvement when we tested them for the first time at Barcelona last week. We set very good and consistent lap times in Spain and I see no reason why the same cannot happen at Silverstone because the layout of the two circuits is quite similar. In fact, I will be disappointed if we don't get a good points' finish in the British Grand Prix, although that has to be our goal in every race from now on."

"Away from the track, I always look forward to Silverstone because of the fans. They are very knowledgeable and seem to treat all the drivers with respect - and not just the British ones, which is good. I feel like I met enough of them at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, where I drove the TF103 up the hill twice on Sunday. It was the first time that I had been to the event organised by Lord March and I was amazed by the passion of the fans. I must have signed 20,000 autographs while I was there! Incroyable!"

"Since Goodwood I have stayed in England because Cristiano and I have had busy PR schedules with Toyota Great Britain. We have visited a young offenders institute, which is a project that helps kids find a role in the outside world and is supported by Toyota, as well as one of Toyota's English production plants, close to Derby. I never stop being amazed by the support that the team gets from Toyota's road car factories around the world; it feels like we are one big family."

"I am sure we will have many supporters at Silverstone, so let's hope we put on a good show for them."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis
Teams Toyota Racing