Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/09B)
First Session Classification: 7th, 8 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m23.827s (+2.275s)
Second Session Classification: 5th, 23 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m21.352s (+0.468s)
"The weekend has started off in a very positive way. We had two productive sessions without any problems. I am working with a new team on my car from this weekend, but the fact that I know all the guys has been a big help. Now we need to concentrate on tomorrow in order to try to keep our current pace."
Ricardo Zonta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/10B)
First Session Classification: 13th, 14 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m24.236s (+2.684s)
Second Session Classification: 18th, 28 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m22.808s (+1.924s)
"It was a quite comprehensive day for me with many things to do. On my final run with new tyres, I unfortunately made a mistake in the last corner so that my best lap time of the day was actually done on old tyres. Generally, I felt very comfortable driving one of the race cars in practice for the first time. Essentially, the job of all three drivers is the same on a Friday, carrying out long runs and comparing Michelin tyres. The only difference is that as race driver, I now have two more sessions to improve the set-up, so I am looking forward to tomorrow."
Ryan Briscoe (Car 38, Chassis TF104/07)
First Session Classification: 8th, 20 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m24.108s (+2.556s)
Second Session Classification: 21st, 22 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m23.170s (+2.286s)
"Today was my first experience of being a part of the race team and I really enjoyed it. I am happy with the general result and with the work that we have achieved. It was quite difficult to reacquaint myself with the track in the first session, as the grip level was very low, so I just took it easy and was gradually getting more and more confident. Unfortunately we had a water leak at the end of my second long run, which meant that I had to finish early this afternoon. That was a little frustrating because I had not run on new tyres during the session and I was looking forward to putting in a competitive time. Although I was driving the standard TF104 chassis today, I had the B-spec aero package, which is a definite improvement to the whole package."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"Not a bad opening day for us. Olivier enjoyed two trouble-free sessions and he was able to set some competitive lap times, although he is still not totally happy with the balance of the car. Similarly, Ricardo had small problems with the balance and also made a mistake on his new tyre run. Ryan did a good job on his first time driving in Friday practice, but a water leak meant that he was unable to complete his final two runs on new rubber. The changes we have made over the last two races show that we are moving forward and are in reasonable shape for the rest of the weekend. Incidentally, I have read reports in the media incorrectly claiming that Norbert Kreyer has been fired from Toyota Motorsport. This is untrue. As part of our recent technical restructure, we reached an agreement which will see him remain part of the company until the end of December this year. This agreement was reached after negotiation initiated by Norbert at his request."
Full results on Friday's free practice sessions can be found on Panasonic Toyota Racing's media website www.toyota-f1-media.com