After the opening round of the European season in Imola last Sunday, Panasonic Toyota Racing stayed in Italy to carry out a four-day test at the Autodromo del Mugello this week. Race driver Olivier Panis alongside third driver Ricardo Zonta today opened the team's preparation programme for next week's Spanish Grand Prix. The Mugello circuit certainly offers a relevant number of technical similarities with the Circuit de Catalunya where the race will take place on Sunday 4 May.
Olivier Panis - Car No. 20
Best lap time: 1m23.13, 88 laps completed
Working on: Set-up preparations and tyre evaluation
"It was a very good test day for me. We had a lot of items on our list. Among other things we worked on our engine's driveability and I could feel some real improvement. The team did a great job on this, here and back at the factory. We also did a big step in our tyre programme in preparations for the next race in Spain. And mostly, we had a completely trouble-free day, which allowed me to cover many laps. It's very nice for all of us to start the week on such a high note."
Best lap time: 1m23.94, 66 laps completed
Working on: Race set-up preparations and long runs for Spanish Grand Prix
"This morning we were a bit disrupted by small problems on my car and we lost a lot of on-track time, but on the opposite, the afternoon was really very positive. We were working on set-up options for next week's race, completing series of long runs, and everything we tested gave some positive signs of improvement of the car's general performance."
Weather: Sunny and clear all day. Air temperature: 12-23°C.
Track: Dry at all times. Track temperature: 12-30°C.
Tomorrow, Cristiano da Matta will join Olivier Panis for the team's second test day at the Mugello circuit. Ricardo Zonta will be back at the wheel on Friday.
06-09 May, Circuit Paul Ricard, France (Panis 2 days, da Matta last 2, Zonta 3 days)
02-04 April 2003, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona