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Da Matta: Why I switched to Formula One 05 Mar 2003

Toyota F1 mechanics have a look round the Ford Aussie V8 cars.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 5 March 2003

As he prepares for his Formula One debut, Brazilian Toyota rookie Cristiano da Matta says it was a tough decision to switch from winning America's CART series.

"It was a difficult decision to leave CART for F1. I was in a very good situation in CART: I was able to win races and fight for the championship. I enjoyed a good time in the States and everything was going well for me. But I thought long and hard about my future. I had to wait until I had won by fight for the CART championship. I needed more time. But when I had finally clinched the title I realised that I had accomplished everything I could in CART. That is why I was so happy to get the chance with Toyota in F1.

"I know some other CART drivers have struggled, but I'm not expecting F1 to be frustrating for me. I am not expecting to fight for wins. It will be a case of starting a lot of hard work and hopefully score some points. And then in 2004 we hopefully fight for the places on the podium. And maybe start winning races."