Both Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta retired from today's Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Da Matta's race lasted just three laps after his TF103 sustained damaged from debris on the track. Panis was running strongly until a dislodged bearing in the brake balance bar forced him out of the 53-lap race on lap 35. It is only the third time that neither TF103 has been classified in a grand prix this season.
Olivier Panis - Car Number 20, Chassis TF103/07
Classification: DNF +18 laps (from race winner)
Grid Position: 9th
"I had a fabulous start and was up to sixth on the first lap. Marc Gene got past me, but I continued to run well in the points. We put a lot of fuel in on at my first pitstop and we were having a good race. Unfortunately shortly after the second stop, the brake pedal went completely to the floor and I had to stop in the garage. It has been another encouraging weekend, and we have demonstrated that we have the potential to score points. We now have to look ahead to the next race in Indianapolis with this as our target."
Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 21, Chassis TF103/04
Classification: DNF + 50 laps (from race winner)
Grid Position: 12th
"I didn't have a great start but I recovered my position and everything was running okay, so being forced to stop is a real shame. All of a sudden, I felt a big vibration at the rear and I started to lose the car straight away. At this stage we are not a hundred percent sure what happened, but most likely, I picked up some carbon fibre debris after an incident on the start-finish line. For both myself and Olivier to retire is a missed opportunity, as I reckon we could have added to our points total today."
Ove Andersson - Team Principal
"A very unfortunate outcome to what could have been a good result for Panasonic Toyota Racing today. What happened to Cristiano is a pure racing incident and could have happened to anybody. Olivier was running well and was looking good to score some good points, but the car developed a terminal problem with the brakes. Again, I think the car has shown the capability to score points, but all we can do now is to look towards the final two races in Indianapolis and Suzuka to see if we have some better luck."
Weather: Hot and sunny
T-Car: TF103/08 set up for Olivier Panis. Spare Chassis: TF103/02
Weekend at a Glance
Friday practice (dry track)
Da Matta P6, 1m21.881s, 24 laps
Panis P12, 1m22.584s, 20 laps
Friday Qualifying (dry track)
Da Matta P4, 1m21.829s (+1.173s)
Panis P10, 1m22.372s (+1.716s)
Saturday practice 1 (dry track)
Da Matta P11, 1m23.312s, 12 laps
Panis P20, No time set, 4 laps
Saturday practice 2 (dry track)
Panis P7, 1m22.321s, 14 laps
Da Matta P12, 1m23.194s, 20 laps
Warm-Up (dry track)
Panis P10, 1m23.095s, 5 laps
Da Matta P14, 1m23.467s, 6 laps
Saturday Qualifying (dry track)
Panis P9, 1m22.488s (+1.525s)
Da Matta P12, 1m22.914s (+1.951s)