Panasonic Toyota Racing: GP of USA - Preview
Grand Prix of USA – Selected Quotes
"It is a very special feeling to race at the Indy Speedway. Last year was my first taste of the track, albeit the wrong way, and it was an eventful weekend to say the least. This year, I hope we are at least racing in totally dry conditions! The trick to Indy is to find a compromise on the car's downforce levels up to cope with the 17-second flat out pit straight, as well as the twisty infield section. The grid was extremely close last year – I qualified 9th and was only 0.4s from Olivier who was 3rd – so every tenth counts. I have spent a few days relaxing a bit in Miami after the Canadian Grand Prix. With the next race already upon us, we can put the frustration of last Sunday's final classification behind us quickly and hopefully we can enjoy a solid and successful weekend in Indianapolis."
Olivier Panis – Race Driver, Car 17
"I will be celebrating my 150th Formula 1 race this weekend in Indianapolis. I can't believe it has been so many races already. I still feel as young as I ever have and as motivated as always. There have been many highs and lows over the course of the 149 races I have driven up to now in my F1 career, but one of the better results I have achieved was in Indy last year, when I put my TF103 third on the grid, which is my joint best ever qualifying result. I am not sure whether we can do the same this weekend, but everyone in the team is aiming to get a good result after the disappointment of Montreal. The Indy motor speedway has a great ambience and it is always a pleasure to go there for a race weekend."
Ricardo Zonta – Third Driver, Car 38
"I finished in sixth place when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway made its return to the F1 calendar with a new look in 2000, but I cannot say that it is one of my favourite circuits of the year. However, I am eager to get on with my usual programme of tyre evaluation, long runs and set-up work on Friday morning. We will use the pre-Canada test in Monza as our base for the weekend, as we have no new parts on the car. That test was quite productive, so I think we should keep in a positive frame of mind for this weekend."
Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal
"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a legendary circuit, and Toyota enjoyed a lot of success here in 2003 with our second row qualifying position in the F1 race and our 1-2-3 success in the famous Indy 500. Our overall performance in the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend was good and I was satisfied that we got all we could out of the TF104s. Quite simply, I would like to achieve the same level of competitiveness in Indy this weekend and hope to regain the point that we unfortunately lost in Montreal. I believe we can do this, we just have to keep our spirits high and utilise Toyota's renowned fighting spirit."
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