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Panis vows to make amends 06 Apr 2003

Olivier Panis (FRA) Toyota TF103 was fastest in free practice.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, Brazil, 5 April 2003

Immediately after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix yesterday, Olivier Panis apologised to his Panasonic Toyota team for the mistake that he believed cost him his shot at pole position.

"When I started my lap, everything was fine with the car," the French veteran said. "I tried to push hard but I made a big mistake in the second sector and we are down in 15th as a result. I really want to say sorry to the team because we did a great job in free practice this morning and the car is really good in terms of performance, so obviously I am extremely disappointed for the team and for myself."

Without the mistake, Panis firmly believed he could have put the white and red car in contention for pole position, and even allowing for the advantage that the Michelin runners enjoyed yesterday afternoon it is clear that Toyota is making serious progress.

"Olivier's mistake in the second sector cost us one second," said Keizo Takahashi, general manager, car design and development in the team. "It is disappointing because we should have been much higher up the grid for this race."

In the paddock last night Panis was roaming up and down making it crystal clear that he believes he has a very competitive car and that he intends to make amends this afternoon.