Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing: GP of Great Britain - Preview

Grand Prix of Great Britain - Preview Quotes

Cristiano da Matta (Race Driver, Car 16) on Regent Street and Silverstone
"My British Grand Prix weekend kicked off a bit earlier with the Regent Street parade on Tuesday evening. I was stunned by the huge numbers of people who turned up. This level of enthusiasm really made the occasion special and this type of event is ideal to bring the fans closer to the action. We now head to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, which holds special memories for me, after I led last year's race in rather bizarre circumstances. I do not expect a repeat this year, but Silverstone is my absolute favourite circuit and I always enjoy racing there. We had a productive test there in June, but I am reluctant to make predictions, so I prefer to wait and see what happens this weekend."

Olivier Panis (Race Driver, Car 17) on Silverstone
"Silverstone is near the top of my list of favourite circuits and I always enjoy racing there. Unfortunately, the weather is rarely in our favour normally with some rain over the weekend. Nevertheless, we put in our full efforts whether wet or dry. After the huge disappointment of Magny-Cours, we will be looking to get back in the midfield fight, but we have to make sure that our performance is consistent throughout the whole weekend right to the chequered flag."

Around Silverstone with Ricardo Zonta (Third Driver, Car 38)
"Silverstone is very enjoyable to drive and quite technical from both a driving and engineering perspective. It is a very fast circuit, starting immediately with the seventh gear start-finish straight and sixth-gear Copse corner. Then we have a series of downshifting through Becketts down to fourth gear before making our way back up to seventh for the ultra quick Hangar Straight. Through Stowe, it is important to keep up momentum because it is back up to sixth at Club followed by a relatively hard braking down to second. Back up to seventh yet again, then through Abbey and on the Bridge, which we take more or less flat. As the lap comes to an end, we have Brooklands, which is comparatively slow compared to the rest of the track, but coming to Luffield, where we need a smooth exit to make our way back up to seventh for the next lap."

Tsutomu Tomita (Team Principal) on Silverstone
"Last year, we had a very unusual situation which resulted in Toyota leading the British Grand Prix for one-third of the race, and whilst it was unrepresentative of our performance level, we showed that when we are in the lead, we are quite capable of defending it. At the French Grand Prix last week, we were unable to show our true competitiveness and the end results were very disappointing. We will again put in our full efforts to getting the most out of our TF104 in Silverstone before we start the development programme with our updated car, which is still scheduled for Hockenheim."

Mike Gascoyne (Technical Director Chassis) on Silverstone
"Silverstone is an exciting race track for F1 cars with several high speed corners. The set-up we will adopt will be similar to that of Barcelona. It is another maximum downforce track, which we know is not a positive trait of our TF104. In qualifying, I think we have demonstrated a reasonably strong performance, but at this type of circuits we generally struggle with race pace. We are working flat out to produce new parts for the updated car which will debut in Hockenheim, so we are not bringing any major new parts to Silverstone. The British Grand Prix will be the last race we run this specification of TF104, but we must remember that the car which will run in Hockenheim is merely the start of a process, rather than an end of the 2004 development process. But first we have to turn our complete attention to Silverstone, where we have to ensure our excellent reliability rate is maintained and to see if we can pick up any points on Sunday afternoon."

Stats Appeal
  • Cristiano da Matta completed 274 laps of Silverstone at a three-day test in June
  • Panasonic Toyota Racing led the British Grand Prix for 17 laps in 2003
  • Cristiano da Matta achieved his first ever P1 in F1 at last weekend's French Grand Prix
  • Toyota is currently 7th in the Constructors' Championship with 8 points.
  • Panis and Da Matta are 13th and 14th in the Drivers' Championship with 5 and 3 points respectively.
  • The three TF104s have completed 14,147km in race weekends so far this season
  • The three drivers have totalled 4,642 laps in the ten races of the year so far (Panis 1258, Da Matta 1119, Zonta 517)