It was all hands on deck this week as the Panasonic Toyota Racing team took to the Paul Ricard track in the south of France for an intensive four-day test session with race drivers Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta and third driver Ricardo Zonta. Zonta additionally undertook some aerodynamic testing at the Vairano circuit in Italy on Tuesday and Wednesday as the team embarked on preparations for the 61st Monaco Grand Prix that takes place in Monte Carlo next weekend.
Chassis: TF103/03 - day 1 and 2
Laps completed: 135 laps, in excess of 560 kilometers
"I drove on Tuesday and Wednesday on the 12B configuration of the Circuit Paul Ricard, which poses quite similar challenges to the Monaco track. We focused entirely on the specific preparations for this very demanding circuit, working thoroughly on mechanical and aerodynamic set-up, as well as on tyre evaluations. I always look forward to the next Grand Prix with the same motivation. But maybe even more to the next one: what place could be more special than the streets of Monaco to change our luck?"
Cristiano da Matta
Chassis: TF103/03 - day 3
Laps completed: 103 laps, close to 430 kilometres
"I carried on with the team's technical programme started by Olivier and we did a very good job in just one day. We continued testing the new aerodynamic elements that will be introduced specifically for Monaco. We worked on the required high downforce set-ups for the race and also paid particular attention to getting the right balance in slow corners. Overall we are very satisfied with the results produced and I was happy to make the most of the day covering so many laps without any problem."
Chassis: TF103/03 - day 4 (TF103/06 in Vairano)
Laps completed: 62 laps, in excess of 360 kilometres
"I drove on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Vairano circuit working on aerodynamic tests and came to Le Castellet to drive the fourth and last day of the session, during which we used the longest version of the track (configuration 3B). I was in charge of evaluating aerodynamic solutions ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix (15 June) and also to conduct some longer-term development work. It was a very productive and interesting test on both circuits, for me and for the team."
Weather: Sunny all week.
Track conditions: Dry at all times.
29 May-1 June 2003, Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco
3-5 June 2003 Silverstone Circuit, England
3-5 June 2003 Autodromo Nationale di Monza, Italy