Panis Stays Positive Despite Low Position

Toyota driver Olivier Panis remained optimistic ahead of tomorrow's final qualifying for the European Grand Prix despite finishing today's first session down in 17th position.

Panis Stays Positive Despite Low Position

Toyota driver Olivier Panis remained optimistic ahead of tomorrow's final qualifying for the European Grand Prix despite finishing today's first session down in 17th position.

Panis, who scored his first point for the Japanese squad at the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago, was one of several drivers who had to complete their flying lap in the wet after a heavy rain began to fall in the second half of the session.

The Frenchman had topped the times in practice, and stayed confident of a strong weekend despite his low position today.

"We were not very lucky this afternoon with the wet weather, but there is absolutely nothing we can do about that," said Panis. "It was too wet to set any sort of decent time, so I just concentrated on getting the car back to parc ferme safely.

"I want to remain optimistic though. We were very competitive this morning and I am extremely happy with the job everybody did this morning to get us in P1. Hopefully we will be able to recreate that sort of speed in tomorrow's sessions, especially in front of our employees, who are watching from the grandstands this weekend."

Brazilian teammate Cristiano da Matta failed to set a time after spinning in the wet and aborting his run.

"We thought that we could get a time done in the dry conditions, so we opted for slick tyres for my run," said da Matta. "The initial part of the track was actually quite dry but then I suddenly picked up a part of the track that was really wet and it was impossible to drive, so we decided it was safer to abort the lap.

"This morning was quite a competitive session and the car felt pretty good apart from a bit of understeer. I reacquainted myself with the Nurburgring quickly and I think that was reflected in my ninth position."

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