Panis plans big showing in Malaysia

Olivier Panis is confident of a good showing in Malaysia after the Toyota team failed to live up to the expectations of many following a very strong winter testing programme

Panis plans big showing in Malaysia

The Toyota showed promise in Melbourne and the Frenchman qualified the TF103 fifth on the grid - the highest position the Japanese marque has achieved since entering Formula 1. But a wrong tyre choice and a mixed-up weather-affected race saw Panis fall back early-on before retiring with a fuel pump failure. His rookie team-mate Cristiano da Matta spun out.

"I am very confident for the Malaysian Grand Prix because we proved in Melbourne that the Toyota is a quick car," said Panis, "which is important for the morale of the team. All we need to do now is find the reliability that we showed in pre-season testing and then I am sure that we can get a good result before too long.

"During the test [in Jerez last week] we tried various new parts on the car, including some improvements to our engine braking, and I came away encouraged. We also did some tyre testing with Michelin in preparation for the Brazilian Grand Prix, and I think we will have a good tyre there - as I think will be the case at Sepang.

"The average speed at Sepang is high and the only track on which we have tested with the TF103 during the winter that is remotely similar is Barcelona and we have been quick around Barcelona, which is another reason for us to be quietly confident for the Malaysian Grand Prix!"

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