Toyota finishes on a positive note

Toyota ended its second season in Formula 1 in a positive mood, after a strong showing in its home race, the Japanese Grand Prix. After qualifying third, Cristiano da Matta finished seventh at Suzuka, holding off world champion Michael Schumacher over the closing portion of the race

Toyota finishes on a positive note

However, although da Matta was happy to claim two points, he did admit that the team was probably capable of more, after he dropped down the order because of smart pit-stop strategy employed by rivals. A similar fate befell team-mate Olivier Panis, who dropped from fourth on the grid to tenth at the finish.

"That was a fun but tough race and I am very pleased to score two more world championship points in Toyota's home race," said Da Matta. "We started from a strong grid position and we were able to translate our improved performance yesterday into a points finish.

"Having said that, I think we were capable of more. We started well and ran in fourth for a long time, but we then lost some positions to the guys who were two-stopping."

Team boss Ove Andersson believes that the results achieved by the team in its second year bode well for the future.

"We finish the season in eighth position in the constructors' championship, which is where we probably should be after only our second season in F1. My ambition tells me that I would have liked to be further up, but it was a more difficult year than our debut season, and one from which we have learned a huge amount. We will be back racing next year with a better car and even more determination to be successful and to give our competitors an even harder time."

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