Panis looks ahead to Spain

Toyota's Olivier Panis looks ahead to the Spanish Grand Prix "I cannot believe we are already at the fifth race of the season. The time has flown by since I first jumped in a Toyota last November. Since that time, we have been testing and racing...

Toyota's Olivier Panis looks ahead to the Spanish Grand Prix

"I cannot believe we are already at the fifth race of the season. The time has flown by since I first jumped in a Toyota last November. Since that time, we have been testing and racing on an almost non-stop basis, and I am happy that I have been able to contribute so much to bringing all the elements of the Panasonic Toyota Racing team together. I am definitely excited about this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix because, now that we have found reliability with our TF103, I am hopeful that we can fight for our first points-scoring result of the year."

Olivier Panis.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"During testing at Mugello last week I tried various new aerodynamic parts on the car to try and help the stability through fast corners, some of which Cristiano validated on the final day. That will be very important at the Circuit de Catalunya because there are several fast corners followed by long straights, so the exit speed is very important. If you are fast out of one of these corners, you are fast down the straight and you have a good lap time."

"Barcelona is a track with just about every type of corner you can think of so, from a driving point of view, you need a lot of commitment. But I love that kind of thing!"

"To be quick, the car has to be working very well. Through the fast corners aerodynamic grip and stability are important and you need stability under braking at the end of the long straights. Then, through the slow hairpins, you need good traction. However, the slower corners do not disturb the car's rhythm as much as at other circuits. The lap is much more flowing and you can maintain a relatively high average speed throughout. That characteristic tends to suit our car better than somewhere like Imola, for example."

"Our TF103 was quick at Barcelona during pre-season testing and again when we tested at there after the Malaysian Grand Prix, so I hope we can carry that momentum into this weekend. Our tyre partner Michelin has developed the rubber further since those tests, so I am confident that they will give us a competitive tyre for the race weekend."

"The circuit is, however, susceptible to varying weather conditions, especially the wind. If the wind gusts across the track horizontally, this can have a negative effect on the general balance of the car."

"Most teams and drivers have done a lot of testing at Barcelona, so everyone should be at their best this weekend. We just have to make sure that we are also at our best performance, if we are to get a good result."

"Panasonic Toyota Racing is ready for a good result because everyone's morale is up following the San Marino Grand Prix. Okay, neither Cristiano nor I scored any points in the race, but given our reliability problems at the start of the year, it was significant for us that we managed to get both cars to the end of the race."

"Imola was significant for another reason because it was announced that the new qualifying rules would stay for the remainder of the season. I think this is a really good thing because up to now the races have been much more exciting, which is good for everyone involved in the sport, especially the fans."

"Until I head off to Barcelona, I am spending a few precious days at home with my wife and our three children. That, to me, is the perfect preparation for a Grand Prix weekend."

-toyota-

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