Da Matta delivers fourth spot for Toyota

Toyota's Cristiano da Matta delivered his most convincing performance yet in Formula 1 by setting the fourth fastest time in first qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza today (Saturday)

Da Matta delivers fourth spot for Toyota

The reigning CART champion benefited from his Toyota's excellent straightline speed at the fastest track on the calendar.

"I am very happy with my qualifying time," said da Matta. "Since the first few laps this morning we have been more confident than we were at the test last week. I want to thank the engineers, who have all done a good job over the weekend to study the data from last week and to make the car stronger.

"It makes a difference to have driven the three days last week, because I have not had to spend time learning the track this morning and I have been able to get a good feeling with the car. Fourth place is certainly a good way to start the weekend."

Da Matta's team-mate Olivier Panis didn't enjoy as much success, however, and was only 10th fastest today after opting to use the spare car.

"It has been a difficult day for me, but I am generally quite happy with 10th place," he said. "I wasn't really comfortable with the car in this morning's session and we had a few small mechanical problems, so I decided to take the T-car for qualifying. In the end, there wasn't much difference, but we'll work hard on things tonight to improve the car for tomorrow."

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