Olivier Panis Q&A

Toyota enjoyed its best result to date when Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta finished fifth and sixth at Hockenheim, albeit helped by the unusually high rate of attrition among the top three teams. Nevertheless the haul of seven points was most welcome, and it leaves the team just a point behind BAR-Honda in the constructors' championship, setting up an interesting contest over the last few races. Significantly Toyota have been consistently in the frame in recent events, having been though some dramatic ups and downs earlier in the year. Adam Cooper caught up with Panis.

Olivier Panis Q&A



"It was a very good race for me. The car was very good, there wasn't any problem with the tyres, the tyres were really consistent, and I did two stints really fast. I have no issues at all, really. Definitely to win a race we need to continue to improve the car, but I think we are in a good direction."



"I lost two or three places I think, to [Mark] Webber, David [Coulthard] and Michael, but I was lucky not to have any damage, and after that I continued to push and I carried on my race."



"No, really I didn't see. I just saw some parts everywhere, and some big crash, but I didn't see anything about whose fault it was. For me it was a race incident."



"Yeah, exactly. I didn't hit anything and I was quite lucky."



"We planned three stops. We had the possibility to do two, and when I saw my speed, and when I saw the balance on my car, I didn't want to do two stops, I stayed on three."



"I lost a lot of time, and maybe I'd finish better if I didn't have this. But this is racing, and I don't need to complain about it."



"He was really bad on traction and he had really bad understeer in the complex. I was much quicker than him but I wasn't able to overtake him."



"He was never close to me, but I was very happy that he was behind me, and we did a very good race together. I think we have a very good relationship, and we work very hard with the team. This race is just to say thank you to everyone, and now we need to continue to push really hard."



"No, nobody speaks, I don't want anybody speaking to me! When I'm racing I'm racing for the best, you know. Definitely if we fight together we need to be a little bit careful, but the team didn't tell us anything."



"I saw on the big television all the Ferrari people waiting for somebody, and I thought it was him because Barrichello was out, but I didn't understand why. Then I saw a white flag, and I was sure a tyre had exploded. Then I saw him in the complex. He tried to block a little bit, but it's not easy with three tyres!"



"Really consistent during the stint, I improved my lap time every time, and this is the first time we do that. Normally we never have the fuel effect through a grand prix before, because we have a very bad degradation with tyres, but at this grand prix we worked really hard for that, and it looks really good."



"Exactly. Now we are consistently in the top 10 in qualifying and consistently in the points. This is quite good."



"The tyres are definitely very good, we have very, very good relationship with Michelin, and we're working a lot with them. But I have to say thank you to Team Toyota because we have a big improvement before Silverstone, and here we have one step of engine revision, which definitely helped a little bit. Every Grand Prix now we have something new."



"I'm not sure about Budapest, I don't know to be honest. In Monaco we had a lot of problems, but we understand why. In Hockenheim if you have the same car as Monaco it's not very good, because it has a very low speed stadium, and we were very competitive. I don't know if we will be competitive like this, but I expect quite a good car in Budapest too. I think we'll be really competitive in Monza, and Suzuka. Indianapolis, I don't know yet."



"Definitely. We need to get them! I think for Toyota if we finish fifth in the championship, it's a fabulous target for the season, to prepare very well for next year. We need to do it. We wait for something new again for Monza in terms of the development of the car, and definitely we need to do it."



"I'm going to my house in the mountains and my house in Bandol. One week in the mountains and one week on the beach."

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