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Panasonic Toyota Racing: GP of USA - Free Practice Round-Up

Grand Prix of USA - Free Practice Round-Up

Motorsport
Cristiano da Matta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/04)
First Session Classification: 16th, 18 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m13.555s (+2.201s)
Second Session Classification: 7th, 35 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m11.893s (+1.528s)

"I think we have had quite a good couple of sessions this morning. We have worked mainly on tuning the settings on the chassis and we also did the tyre comparison, which is the priority on Fridays. It seems quite clear to me what compound of tyre we need to use, but we will only really know where we stand tomorrow because every team does different things on the opening day. For us, I think the biggest thing we need to look at is the traction, but overall it's not been a bad start to our US Grand Prix weekend."

Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/03)
First Session Classification: 9th, 16 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m12.631s (+1.277s)
Second Session Classification: 8th, 30 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m11.994s (+1.629s)

"We have had two productive free practice sessions which we also used for long runs in order to get as much data about the two tyre compounds as possible. I am quite happy that all three of us drivers were able to get into the top ten. This is particularly encouraging as I know that I still have some margin for improvement because I was held up by traffic on my quick lap. The team did a very good job and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Ricardo Zonta (Car 38, Chassis TF104/07)
First Session Classification: 5th, 25 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m12.366s (+1.012s)
Second Session Classification: 9th, 42 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m12.019s (+1.654s)

"Although I raced here back in 2000, the Speedway felt like a new track to me first thing this morning, so I spent the initial runs simply relearning the circuit. We made some good progress to improve the balance of the car for the second session when we completed our tyre programme and long runs. I had quite a bit of traffic on my final set of new tyres, so I backed off during the out lap to create enough distance. By doing this, the brakes were not at their optimum temperature, which resulted in me locking the wheels and losing a couple of tenths. Nevertheless, I am happy and I think we have done a good job."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis
"We enjoyed a trouble-free and solid opening day, although the track was quite green to begin with. As usual, we spent the sessions evaluating the tyre compounds that Michelin has brought to Indy. All three drivers complained about rear drop off in the opening practice hour, but we had no real problems. We were able to gather some interesting information concerning the tyre choice, which we will have to analyse tonight. Overall the cars look quite competitive and it is a great start of the weekend to have three cars in the top ten today."

Full results on Friday's free practice sessions can be found on Panasonic Toyota Racing's media website www.toyota-f1-media.com