Da Matta Baffled by Lack of Speed

Brazilian Cristiano da Matta was unable to explain his lack of pace in today's qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix following an impressive session on Friday.

Da Matta Baffled by Lack of Speed

Brazilian Cristiano da Matta was unable to explain his lack of pace in today's qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix following an impressive session on Friday.

Toyota driver da Matta set the fourth fastest time in yesterday's opening session, but dropped down the order in the grid-deciding qualifying today. The current CART champion had to settle for 12th position, almost two seconds off the pole position time.

"I made a small mistake at Ascari and probably lost two or three tenths, which was a shame," explained da Matta. "Even so, the level of our performance today was not as high compared to yesterday's sessions and we need to figure out why.

"The Italian Grand Prix is a long race and quite tough, particularly in terms of reliability, but I am confident that we can reach the finish and get a good result."

Da Matta's teammate Olivier Panis was happier after setting the ninth quickest time. The Frenchman is now looking to score points in tomorrow's race.

"This weekend has been pretty difficult for me, so I am pleased with my qualifying lap today," said Panis. "We had some electronics problems in practice this morning, but everyone has worked well to improve the balance of the car for today's session.

"We are now in a good direction for the race and starting from ninth, I think we will again be in a position to fight for points tomorrow."

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