Da Matta Admits to 'Big Mistake'

Brazilian Cristiano da Matta admitted a mistake during his flying lap cost him a lot of valuable time that saw him finishing down in a disappointing 18th position in today's qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix.

Da Matta Admits to 'Big Mistake'

Brazilian Cristiano da Matta admitted a mistake during his flying lap cost him a lot of valuable time that saw him finishing down in a disappointing 18th position in today's qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix.

"I made a big mistake in the first sector, which ruined my whole lap," admitted da Matta. "We still need to find some more speed in the other sectors too with some modifications to the car's set-up necessary. It is a slow beginning to the weekend for us, so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

"We have ninety minutes of free practice tomorrow in which to improve the car's handling. I like this circuit a lot, but I feel we have a better potential in the car than we showed today."

As a consequence of his mistake, the current CART champion finished a massive 2.1 seconds off the pace of his Toyota teammate Olivier Panis, who posted the 12th quickest time.

"When I compare the result we have in qualifying to the free practice session, I think we have made some good progress," claimed Panis. "This morning, the car was very difficult over the kerbs and we did not have enough grip. I think the reaction of the team to change the set-up was good and I am quite happy with 12th today.

"I know it is not good enough, but I think we are heading in a good direction for tomorrow. We took some risks for the set-up changes between practice and qualifying sessions and I think it paid off."

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