Toyota happy after 'exceptional' showing

Toyota excelled in qualifying for the second race in succession, with Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis annexing the second row of the grid for the Japanese team in its home race, although the team admitted that it benefited from the rain that fell late in the qualifying hour

Toyota happy after 'exceptional' showing

Da Matta's third matched Toyota's best-ever grid slot, which was achieved by Panis at the last race at Indianapolis. The result also gives the team a major boost in its battle for fifth in the Constructors' Championship.

"This is a very positive result for the whole team and we have repeated our strong qualifying performance from the last race," said Panis. "Having both cars on the second row of the grid tomorrow at Toyota's home grand prix is exceptional, even if we finally had a bit of help from the weather."

Keizo Takahashi, Toyota's general manager of car design and development, said: "Cristiano did a fantastic job throughout the day, especially considering this is his first time at Suzuka, which is one of the toughest tracks on the calendar. As for Olivier, the car was not as well balanced as it could have been, but he drove a faultless lap and gave his absolute best. We want to keep this momentum up and achieve some good points in tomorrow's race."

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