Da Matta in top 10 despite huge slide

Toyota's Cristiano da Matta was left kicking himself over his mistake on the exit of the very last corner of his qualifying lap for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim

Da Matta in top 10 despite huge slide

Da Matta will start ninth on Sunday, but believes his lap time should have matched that of seventh placed team-mate Olivier Panis.

"Despite claiming another top 10 grid position, I am really not happy with my qualifying lap today," said da Matta. "The car definitely had a much better lap time in it, but I lost around half-a-second at the last corner. I was simply pushing a bit too hard and made a mistake.

"The car felt good and we improved the handling through free practice and again in the warm-up session, so it is frustrating not to be a bit higher up on the grid tomorrow, although we should be in reasonable shape in the race."

Toyota's general manager of car design and development, Keizo Takahashi, was happy with the progress the team has made in recent weeks.

"Another very encouraging qualifying session for Panasonic Toyota Racing and I am overjoyed that we managed to get two cars in the top 10 for the third time this season," he said. "Of course our new engine specification played a part in our qualifying results, but I would like to extend our thanks to Michelin for their competitive tyres and also to Olivier and Cristiano for a job well done. Tomorrow, we expect a very hot day but we are fully prepared to push hard in the race."

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