Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/03)
First Session Classification: 12th, 12 laps completed Lap Time: 1m37.590s (+3.153s)
Second Session Classification: 12th, 19 laps completed Lap Time: 1m35.524s (+1.129s)
"For me, it has been a highly positive Friday in Malaysia. Compared to the last race in Melbourne it feels like a different world. I am very impressed with the job the team has done to put new aerodynamic parts on the car and to make improvements at such an early stage of the season. The grip level has also improved as a result of the new aero parts and the good choice of tyres from Michelin. Now we have to continue to set up the car with the new parts we have, but things are looking quite positive for the weekend."
Cristiano da Matta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/02) First Session Classification: 18th, 11 laps completed Lap Time: 1m38.734s (+4.297s)
Second Session Classification: 19th, 7 laps completed Lap Time: 1m36.907s (+2.512s)
"There is nothing much to say really. We again opted to run just a handful of laps in the first session, but shortly into the second session I went off after entering turn 14 a bit too fast. It was completely the wrong time to make a mistake like that because I lost the remainder of the hour. I now have to rely on the information and data that Olivier and Ricardo gathered today."
Ricardo Zonta (Car 38, Chassis TF104/04) First Session Classification: 4th, 22 laps completed Lap Time: 1m36.147s (+1.710s)
Second Session Classification: 13th, 27 laps completed Lap Time: 1m35.850s (+1.455s)
"I think we have found a good choice of Michelin tyre for this weekend. We tried both of the compounds and quickly found a fast, but consistent tyre. My lap time was also encouraging. With the last set, I was about 5-tenths quicker than my previous best lap, but then I hit traffic at the exit of turn 11 exit, which lost me time. Nevertheless, I am pleased with my second race weekend of driving the third car in Friday practice. I think the team and my crew worked extremely well and things appear to be going in the right direction."
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis "In the first session, Ricardo worked on a basic set-up, whilst the race drivers ran just a few laps to get a balance on their cars. Unfortunately, Cristiano had an off in the second session and, although we got the car back to the garage, we couldn't clean it out in time to send him back out. Olivier and Ricardo concentrated on tyre comparison and the tyre choice is very clear for us. The level of grip was perhaps a little better than we expected, and it showed that the changes we have made since Melbourne have had a positive effect. Overall, it was a good day with the cars well balanced and the gap to our competitors much reduced, highlighting the excellent and focused job that everyone in the team has done since Melbourne."