The Panasonic Toyota Racing team today achieved its best ever combined qualifying result after Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta posted the 7th and 9th fastest times in second qualifying for tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix - the team's first two-car top ten result of the year.
Olivier Panis - Car Number 20, Chassis TF103/05
Session Classification: 7th
Lap Time: 1m16.598s +1.069s from pole
Starting position: 11th
"I am pleased with the results of qualifying today - for myself, Cristiano and the whole team. We had some problems in practice this morning. I made a spin in the first session, which caused some damage to the car, but everybody in the team reacted very well to get the car in a good shape for qualifying. I would like to extend my thanks to all the mechanics for their professional and quick work today. We appear to be reasonably competitive here and starting from 7th and 9th, we are in a good position for the race."
Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 21, Chassis TF103/04
Session Classification: 9th
Lap Time: 1m16.826s +1.297s from pole
Starting Position: 5th
"Unfortunately we did not complete much running in the drying track conditions this morning. The only dry running we have done this weekend were the few laps I completed in the warm-up. As a result, there is still some work to be done on improving my driving finesse around this track. All things considered, the qualifying lap was quite a good effort and I have gone one better than my previous best qualifying result in Monaco, and I look forward to seeing what we can do from 9th in tomorrow's race."
Keizo Takahashi - General Manager Car Design and Development "We had some trouble in free practice this morning after both Olivier and Cristiano had off-track excursions, which caused damage to both TF103s. Consequently Cristiano was forced to use the spare car and the mechanics had to work a lot on the cars in the short space of time before qualifying. Both drivers and team did an exceptional job in the qualifying hour, especially given the lack of time we have had to fine-tune the cars in the dry. I would also like to say that Michelin have once again provided us with very good tyres this weekend, for which we are thankful. All in all I am overjoyed with our best ever joint qualifying result of the season so far."
Weather: Dry qualifying, but overcast and cool.
T-Car: TF103/07 set up for Cristiano da Matta.
Review: A rain-soaked morning practice saw Olivier Panis set the fifth fastest time in 1m17.464s after just 16 laps with Cristiano da Matta eleventh in 1m18.559s, completing 24 laps. An inconsistent track made the practice session somewhat inconclusive. The team was pleased to have a generally trouble-free qualifying session on Friday with Panis in 10th (1m37.313s) and Da Matta 16th (1m38.244s). Saturday morning was a troublesome affair with both drivers having incidents during the session. Neither Panis nor Da Matta managed any significant running in the dry second session and were 19th and 20th.