Da Matta delighted with best-ever qualifying

Cristiano da Matta was delighted to claim his best-ever qualifying result of sixth on the gird for this weekend's British Grand Prix, continuing the impressive form shown by Toyota in yesterday's session, in which Olivier Panis went fifth quickest

Da Matta delighted with best-ever qualifying

The performance of the reigning Champ Car World Series champion was all the more impressive because he was forced to run in the team's spare car, after his race car failed during the pre-qualifying warm-up. The conditions had changed significantly since the morning session, and the Brazilian was unable to sample them before his flying lap.

"I think the effort was pretty good, given the circumstances," said da Matta. "We had a problem with my race car during the warm-up, which meant that we got no running prior to the qualifying run and I had to switch to the back-up car. Consequently I had no knowledge of the track conditions with different wind and different temperatures, so I couldn't really tune the car for the session.

"Overall, I think the whole team has shown that we have a competitive package this weekend and to get my best ever qualifying result and a top-six grid position in the spare car is very pleasing. We are really in the hunt for points tomorrow."

Unfortunately for the team, Panis couldn't replicate his form from yesterday, with major oversteer in Silverstone's complex section costing him a lot of time. "It happens occasionally when you are on the limit," he said. "I am not sure of the actual cause, so we need to go through the data to find what happened. Of course I am not happy, but we have to remain focussed on making up positions in the race."

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