The Panasonic Toyota Racing team is celebrating yet another top ten qualifying result after Olivier Panis qualified his TF103 in 6th place for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix. Cristiano da Matta is running a different technical set-up to his French...
The Panasonic Toyota Racing team is celebrating yet another top ten qualifying result after Olivier Panis qualified his TF103 in 6th place for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix. Cristiano da Matta is running a different technical set-up to his French team-mate, but struggled with oversteer on his sole flying lap to line up 13th on the grid. After scoring a fifth place qualifying result at the 2003 season-opener in Melbourne, it is the team's second top six grid slot of the year so far.
"I am very happy with the result today. We had quite a few problems with the handling yesterday but the team reacted very well to improve the car and I felt a big improvement in the set-up this morning. My qualifying lap today was very good and I think we are on a positive strategy for tomorrow's race. We have shown in pre-season testing and during this weekend that the TF103 is very competitive at this Barcelona track. Starting from sixth on the grid, I feel that we are in a strong position for the race."
Cristiano da Matta:
"I do not think my qualifying lap was perfect, but it was not too bad either. We missed the settings and the balance of the car a little bit and I was suffering from oversteer, so I could not push that hard. I am not as happy with the car's balance as I was yesterday, so now we have to try to figure out why and learn for the future. We were just too much on the oversteer side. We can do small corrections for the race but nothing big, so I will try my best to get as far up the field as possible with this starting position."
Keizo Takahashi - General Manager Car Design and Development:
"I am very happy with this top six result and the whole Panasonic Toyota Racing team is pleased. We found a good set-up on Olivier's car and he put in a very strong drive today to score sixth - one of our best ever results for qualifying. In Cristiano's case, the car set-up was not as good as yesterday, but we think we have a good race strategy and we have the chance to achieve our first points of the season tomorrow."
Car Number 20, Chassis TF103/05
Session Classification: 6th
Lap Time: 1m18.811s +1.049s from pole
Running Order: 15th
Cristiano da Matta
Car Number 21, Chassis TF103/02
Session Classification: 13th
Lap Time: 1m19.623s +1.861s from pole
Running Order: 17th