Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta will start from 11th and 13th on the grid for tomorrow's Austrian Grand Prix after second qualifying at the A1-Ring today. After struggling heavily with set-up issues on Friday, the team has made solid efforts to gradually improve the TF103s over the weekend, although a lot of work still remains if the team is to pick up more championship points tomorrow afternoon.
Olivier Panis - Car Number 20, Chassis TF103/05
Session Classification: 11th
Lap Time: 1m10.402s +1.252s from pole
Starting order: 7th
"We have had a difficult weekend and the car simply hasn't been right for this track. I think I did a good job in qualifying today and it was a respectable lap given the circumstances. Obviously we are not quick enough but the team has worked well to improve the car little by little over the weekend, and I think we are on a good strategy for tomorrow. Starting from 11th is not bad, so we'll see what happens in the race."
Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 21, Chassis TF103/07
Session Classification: 13th
Lap Time: 1m10.834s +1.684s from pole
Starting order: 5th
"I am quite happy with my qualifying lap and my overall performance. The track appeared to be a little slower than this morning, but still the time is not good and it has been a tough weekend so far. We have been struggling ever since the first practice session yesterday. We have to dig a little deeper to find the answers to why our car is not going well this weekend. We'll keep working on it."
Keizo Takahashi - General Manager Car Design and Development "Both drivers, Olivier and Cristiano, did their best and really pushed hard in qualifying today, but we suffered from a lack of track grip. The cars were in much better shape than they were yesterday but the set-up is still not as good as it should be, so I am a little bit disappointed. We still have a chance to challenge for championship points tomorrow, and it goes without saying that we will do our best."
Weather: Dry and sunny
T-Car: TF103/04 set up for Olivier Panis
Free Practice Review: The team struggled in Friday's free practice with a poor set-up, which resulted in imbalance and bad handling on both TF103s. Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis only managed the 17th and 18th fastest times in the one-hour session completing 28 and 21 laps respectively. It was Da Matta's debut run on the A1-Ring. The team fared little better in thismorning's practice sessions, although some improvements were made to the cars. Panis clocked the 13th best time (1m10.076s) over 39 laps with Da Matta 16th fastest (1m10.370s) after 39 tours of the track.