Panis encouraged by top 10 performance

Toyota's Olivier Panis is upbeat about his chances of scoring points in this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim after setting the 10th fastest time in first qualifying today (Friday)

Panis encouraged by top 10 performance

Panis was over a second off the pace of fastest man Ralf Schumacher, but just failed to beat world championship leader Michael Schumacher of Ferrari by 0.025s.

"I am quite encouraged by this result," said Panis. "We are in the top 10 again, which is where we aim to be in every qualifying and we have found a good balance on the car for this track. We are using a new specification engine and some new aerodynamic parts on the car this weekend, which all look quite promising.

"Our tyre supplier Michelin is also looking competitive here, so overall I am pleased. The whole team has done a good job and we have started the German Grand Prix weekend well. I hope we can keep this up."

His team-mate Cristiano da Matta was less than impressed with his qualifying effort, however, which was only good enough for 15th.

"I am not pleased with my qualifying lap this afternoon," he said. "Everything felt good on the car in this morning's free practice hour, but I didn't get a great run in qualifying. We got the balance of the car wrong for the session, and I suffered from too much oversteer during my flying lap."

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