Panis supports new qualifying

Olivier Panis is confident that the new one-lap qualifying rule will benefit all of Formula One, not just Michael Schumacher. The Ferrari champion is known to be able to set a blistering time with just one flying lap in qualifying but Panis thinks...

Olivier Panis is confident that the new one-lap qualifying rule will benefit all of Formula One, not just Michael Schumacher. The Ferrari champion is known to be able to set a blistering time with just one flying lap in qualifying but Panis thinks it won't always be to Schumacher's advantage. Recently back behind the wheel for testing with new team Toyota, the Frenchman predicts some shake-ups for the grid.

Olivier Panis.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"I don't know why people say the rule will benefit only Michael," Panis said. "We have a lot of drivers who are good in qualifying and a lot of drivers who can be quick on their first lap. What we need to fight Michael is to have better cars."

"We needed to change something and I feel very positive about the new qualifying rule. At times we will have a different grid, so for the show I think it will be very good. It will be fairer for everybody, especially the smaller teams."

Along with a new team, Panis has a new team mate in the shape of this year's CART champion Christiano da Matta. Panis believes the Brazilian is a quick learner and although next season will be hard for both of them, he is positive for the future.

"I think F1 has been a big shock to Cristiano," Panis commented. "But he is obviously a quick learner as you can see by his times. I am really positive about the team, although I know we have a lot to learn. The team will make a big step forward next year."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Olivier Panis
Teams Ferrari