A mid-session downpour at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prevented Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta from setting representative lap times in first qualifying for this weekend's United States Grand Prix. Da Matta was a respectable eleventh quickest in damp track conditions, but team-mate Panis endured heavier rain and claimed fourteenth position.
Cristiano da Matta - Car Number 21, Chassis TF103/07
Session Classification: 11th
Lap Time: 1m11.949s, +2.383s from pole
Running Order: 12th
"It's great to be racing here at the Speedway this weekend, although the weather could be better. We performed quite well in this morning's practice and the car seems to handle pretty well at this track. I am not too concerned with the outcome of this afternoon's qualifying session because we were unlucky with the rain on our run, so we cannot really read anything into the times. In the wet-dry conditions this morning, I wasn't able to learn the track completely, so I hope we can get some good running in the dry tomorrow."
Olivier Panis - Car Number 20, Chassis TF103/08
Session Classification: 14th
Lap Time: 1m17.666s +8.100s from pole
Running Order: 14th
"We were not at all lucky with the weather conditions in qualifying today. It started to rain heavily on my run and I did the best I could in the circumstances. I was very happy with our performance in free practice this morning. We showed that we have a good car for this track and we were quite competitive, setting the third fastest time. I am still confident for the rest of the weekend - all we need is a bit of luck with the weather!"
Ange Pasquali - Team Manager
"The weather has been very unpredictable all day, but unfortunately we got caught out on our qualifying runs this afternoon. Cristiano set a very commendable eleventh fastest time, despite damp track conditions. Olivier had the worst of the rain as he embarked on his flying lap, but had a trouble-free run to take fourteenth. Luckily, we managed to get some laps in the dry this morning and we are pleased with what we achieved. Now, we will look to continue in a positive way tomorrow morning as we prepare for final qualifying."
Weather: Overcast with mid-session drizzle soon turning into heavy rain
T-Car: TF103/02 set up for Cristiano da Matta Spare Chassis: TF103/04
Weekend at a Glance
Friday practice (dry-wet track)
Panis P3, 1m11.388s, 20 laps
Da Matta P11, 1m12.084s, 23 laps