Toyota's Mika Salo looks forward to the Austrian Gran Prix. "To get two cars to the finish of the Spanish Grand Prix was a good result for everyone at Panasonic Toyota Racing, especially when you consider that both of our cars had retired before...
Toyota's Mika Salo looks forward to the Austrian Gran Prix.
"To get two cars to the finish of the Spanish Grand Prix was a good result for everyone at Panasonic Toyota Racing, especially when you consider that both of our cars had retired before half distance at Imola just two weeks earlier. That's what I call progress! I am confident for the remainder of the season because I think that we have the most difficult two races of the year behind us."
"Prior to the start of the season, I thought Imola and Barcelona would be bad for us because both tracks have bumps and kerbs that are very hard on suspension, which is still a weakness of the TF102. The car jumps around on the bumps, making it very difficult to drive. From here, however, we head to tracks with smoother surfaces, which should be better for the car."
"I am currently enjoying some time off at home in Switzerland. It's a welcome break because the testing schedule over the past few weeks has been pretty relentless and I'm feeling a bit tired. Mind you, it depends what you call a break because my wife Noriko has had me tending to our garden and doing other household chores ever since I got home! I go training on my mountain bike by way of a break!"
"Next stop is Austria, where I made my Ferrari debut back in 1999. That was a whirlwind period in my life because I got married and became a Ferrari driver all within a week! Noriko and myself didn't get much of a honeymoon though as I was testing immediately after the wedding. We made it up later in the year when we took a long break in the Far East once the season had ended."
"The A1-Ring is not as fast and challenging as its predecessor, the Oesterreichring, which was the home of the Austrian Grand Prix between 1970 and 1987. I drove on it once, in a European Formula Ford race in 1988 and it was absolutely fabulous. That particular race was good for another reason too: I beat Michael Schumacher!"
"The chances of me beating Michael this time around are, I'm afraid, unlikely. That's not to say that we'll go badly in the Austrian Grand Prix. Allan and myself carried out Toyota's first ever race simulation with the TF101 there last September, and gained a lot of valuable track data."
"I think the long straights and heavy braking areas of the A1-Ring will suit the TF102 and Michelin are confident that they have a good tyre as well, so I'd like to think that we can, once again, knock on the door of the top 10."