Panasonic Toyota Racing: GP of Monaco - Race Round-Up
GP of Monaco - Race Round-Up
Session Classification: 6th, +1 lap (from race winner)
"I think that we had a good race, probably the strongest pace we have had since the beginning of the year. To finish in sixth place and to score three championship points is an excellent result for us this weekend, but we should have had even more. I had a clutch problem, which lost me time at my second pit stop and then I was given a drive-through penalty for apparently ignoring blue flags. I really think that the situation with blue flags has to be looked into because our race was compromised a lot with the mistake that was made today. I was only a couple of seconds behind Rubens and I was almost able to get out in front of him after my first pit stop. It was just unfortunate that we had this blue flag incident. Basically, we had a fourth place in our hands today and came away with a sixth."
Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/07, T-car TF104/03)
Session Classification: 8th, +3 laps (from race winner)
"With all the problems we had at the start where the car stalled twice, to finish in eighth is positive for all the team. During most of the race, I had a big problem with the brakes and drove most of it with limited braking. I expected a little bit more from myself, but I did my best and managed to get the car to the chequered flag in the hope that we could pick up some points. I am very happy for the whole Toyota family that we could do just that. This is just the first step, now we need to carry on and look to next weekend's race at the Nürburgring."
Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"What an exciting race! Both Cristiano and Olivier did an exceptional job in the circumstances, driving to our first points of the season. I think this is a good motivational force for all of us at Toyota and we can build on this result throughout the remainder of the year. Whilst Toyota will always accept the final decision of the FIA, we already raised the issue of blue flags with the FIA after the Spanish Grand Prix, so we are disappointed with the inconsistency in today's race, which we consider to be unfair."
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis
"It is fantastic for the team to get two cars into a points finish, and just reward for all the hard work. Both cars had a clutch problem which caused Olivier to stall at the start and also caused the problem for Cristiano during his second pitstop which possibly cost him a podium. I have to say that the inconsistency in blue flags is appalling. Cristiano got a blue flag and moved over at the next corner, and was then given a penalty. Ralf Schumacher in front of us was a lap behind in front of us for two or three laps, nothing was done and this has cost us points. There seems to be one rule for those at the front and one rule for the rest of us. This is something that really needs to be addressed by the race director at the FIA."