SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST 2005
Olivier Panis declared himself pleased with the performance of the Toyota V8 engine as the team continued its preparations for the 2006 Formula One season during this weeks group test at Monza.
Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta were also in attendance at the test, but it was Panis who was again given the role of running the V8 engine which will be used under the new regulations which come into force next season – the Frenchman taking to the track on both Wednesday and Thursday to put more mileage on the new powerplant.
"It's only the second time we have tested the V8 engine and it looks positive," he said. "We did almost 80 laps on the first day and I wouldn't have thought that kind of mileage was possible yet, especially at a track as demanding for engines as Monza. The computer simulations showed us that a V8 would be around 5.5s per lap slower than a V10 here, and that's just how it worked out.
"I'm very happy with the job the Toyota engine department is doing. They are working hard and making really good progress. I did less mileage on the second day but that was always the plan. On the first day we had a new specification engine but on day two I was using the earlier engine that we first tested at Jerez, and just bringing it up to full mileage so that the team could make some data comparisons."
However there was one slightly worrying moment for Panis on track during the two days.
"We had an engine failure and I found myself going backwards at 320kph," he said. "That's not so good for the heart rate! But I didn't hit anything and there was no damage done."
Olivier Panis - Toyota TF105