Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis as well as test driver Ricardo Zonta are all on testing duties during this week's parallel test sessions at the Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy and at the Circuit de Jerez, Spain. Cristiano today opened the three-day Italian session at the wheel of the TF102B interim car to have his first taste of the historic world championship track.
Cristiano da Matta - Car No. 21
Best lap time: 1m25.857s, 43 laps completed
Working on: Acquainting himself with the track
"I am happy to visit Imola before the actual San Marino Grand Prix in April, since it is one of the circuits I never drove before, and I really like driving it. The team did its best to give me as many pre-season testing opportunities as possible and when I get to Melbourne next week I will know 9 of the 16 FIA F1 world championship tracks. As for today, we had a very good morning session but a series of small problems in the afternoon. We now hope for a good day tomorrow."
Weather: Dry and sunny, relatively cold. Air temperature 6-7°C.
Track: Dry all day. Track temperature 7-23°C.
Cristiano da Matta will continue at the Imola track tomorrow, while his French team-mate Olivier Panis will start the Spanish side of this week's tests in Jerez.
07-09 March 2003, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne
12 -15 March 2003, Circuito de Jerez, Spain