Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing: Grand Prix of Bahrain - Free Practice Round-Up

Grand Prix of Bahrain - Free Practice Round-Up

Cristiano da Matta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/02) First Session Classification: 20th, 16 laps completed Lap Time: 1m36.359s (+4.201s)

Second Session Classification: 14th, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m32.761s (+1.311s)

"We are in similar shape to the last race in Malaysia, which looks promising for the rest of the weekend. The track is difficult in the sense that there is little margin for error. Off the racing line, it is still very dusty and you go from quite a bit of decent grip to absolutely zero. We were able to improve the car a lot during today's sessions. I think there will be more improvements from everyone tomorrow, which will come mainly from the track conditions, but we also hope to make further steps forward on the car."

Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/03) First Session Classification: 19th, 14 laps completed Lap Time: 1m35.981s (+3.823s)

Second Session Classification: 16th, 18 laps completed Lap Time: 1m33.049s (+1.599s)

"Being a new circuit, it was very dusty today. It is a nice track to drive, but it is easy to make a mistake if you run wide. The balance of the car was quite good and we will continue to improve the car in practice tomorrow. Ricardo did a very important job on the tyres today and I think this has helped us to make the correct decision. Having more new tyres available on the third car is a big advantage at this track because the conditions improve all the time. Everyone in the team worked well and I am looking forward to a good day tomorrow."

Ricardo Zonta (Car 38, Chassis TF104/04) First Session Classification: 7th, 21 laps completed Lap Time: 1m34.289s (+2.131s)

Second Session Classification: 10th, 27 laps completed Lap Time: 1m32.335s (+0.885s)

"I think we have done a good job in these two sessions to find the right tyre for the weekend. In the second session we did a long run with the compound we have chosen and I think we found a good balance. The track improved a lot over the last fifteen minutes of the second session and I felt a much bigger difference during the long run. The Bahrain track itself is very nice. The changes in direction and the undulations of the track are particularly enjoyable to drive. Overall, I am very happy with the car, the work we have done and the improvements we have made today."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis "A very productive day on all three cars with a lot of useful laps completed. Obviously the drivers had the added job of learning a new track today, but we managed to finish our tyre evaluation successfully and trouble-free. With six sets of new tyres at his disposal, Ricardo did another valuable job in the third car, carrying out a back-to-back comparison and then a long run on the chosen tyre, which proved consistent. Cristiano and Olivier also did a back-to-back comparison, but also worked on general set-up of the car at this new track. We are probably a bit more competitive than we thought we would be here. The cars are reasonably well balanced and generally I think we are in good shape for the rest of the weekend."