Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing: Grand Prix of Spain - Preview

Grand Prix of Spain - Preview

Selected Quotes

Cristiano da Matta - Race Driver, Car 16 "We don't have any major new parts for the Spanish Grand Prix but what makes me excited about going to Barcelona is that our car has run better in testing there than all the other tracks we have been at so far this year. The TF104 suits the Circuit de Catalunya quite well, so I hope we can perform a little bit better there than we have been at the other races so far this year. Last year, I scored my first ever F1 points at Barcelona when I finished in sixth place, so I will be looking for a repeat performance this weekend."

Olivier Panis - Race Driver, Car 17
"I must have done thousands and thousands of testing kilometres around Barcelona. The circuit has traditionally been good for Panasonic Toyota Racing. We were very competitive at last year's event, running in the top six all weekend. For this year's race we should hopefully be a little bit better than at the first four races of the season. It's a very tough circuit for the car, hard on the tyres and very physical with a lot of high speed corners. The TF104 is better at handling high speed corners compared to last year's TF103, so we'll be pushing as hard as ever to close the gap on the teams in front and perhaps we could score our first points."

Ricardo Zonta - Third Driver, Car 38
"Like most of the drivers, I know the Circuit de Catalunya extremely well. I've raced there many times and tested there even more. It's a very challenging track and it's especially difficult to overtake. Downforce and aerodynamics make a big difference to setting a quick lap time, so these areas are a priority. Reliability is always important, but more so in Barcelona because all the teams that go there know their set-ups already, and they know the limits of the car. By the time we put our lap time together, it is really difficult to improve much more on that. Whatever happens, we will all be hoping for an improved race weekend in Spain this weekend."

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal
"Overviewing the opening four races of the season, we have regrettable not scored any championship points. However, we are working flat-out on continuous improvements to the TF104, particularly for the latter half of this season and also for next year, so we will get there in time. The Barcelona track is quite favourable for Toyota. Last year, we scored our first points of the season there and I really hope we can do the same this year. We still need to benefit from a bit of luck, but it would be a great reward for all of our hard work to share our first points of 2004 with the global Toyota family and fans this weekend."

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis "The Circuit de Catalunya is obviously a track on which everyone has done a lot of testing in the pre-season period and it is a circuit that requires good aerodynamic efficiency. As a team, Panasonic Toyota Racing has made progress over the last few races and we have some minor updates on the aero side for the Spanish Grand Prix. Over the last couple of races we have found a good balance on the car and I think that will benefit us in Barcelona. Certainly, we have moved closer to the group of cars in front of us and we now have to try to qualify ahead of that group and subsequently race in front of them. If we can do that, I am pretty confident we can pick up some points, which has to be our aim for this weekend."

The weekend in numbers

43,900 - Combined sales of Toyota and Lexus in Spain in 2003

15,000 - Sales of Toyota Corolla in Spain in 2003, making it the biggest selling Toyota model

8,094 - Number of kilometres completed by Panasonic Toyota Racing in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya so far in 2004

5,777 - Kilometres completed by the TF104s in race weekends so far in 2004

1,712 - Combined number of laps completed by Olivier Panis, Cristiano da Matta, Ricardo Zonta and Ryan Briscoe in tests at Barcelona so far in 2004

1,091 - Laps completed by Panis, Da Matta and Zonta in race weekends so far in 2004

111 - Number of employees working at Toyota Spain

66 - Number of laps which make up the Spanish Grand Prix

6 - Toyota's best grid position in the Spanish Grand Prix (Panis, 2003)

4.627 - Length of the Circuit de Catalunya in kilometres

4 - Da Matta's best Friday qualifying result of 2003 scored in Barcelona

3.1 - Percentage of market share held by Toyota Spain in 2003

3 - Number of points which Cristiano da Matta took at the 2003 Spanish GP, his first points in Formula 1

For Cristiano da Matta personal preview of the Grand Prix of Spain please click on the link below.