OLIVIER PANIS

Career biography

  • Nationality: French
  • Born: 2 September 1966 – Lyon, France
  • Marital Status: Married to Anne, 3 children Aurélien, Caroline, Laurène
  • Height: 1.73 m
  • Weight: 72 kg
  • Hobbies: Karting, Skiing, Cycling, Tennis, Sailing
  • 2003 Classification: 15th (6 points)
  • 2003 Best Qualifying: 3rd, United States Grand Prix
  • 2003 Best Race: 5th, German Grand Prix
  • 2004 Best Race: 5th, United States Grand Prix

Olivier Panis entered the 2004 Formula 1 World Championship confident of continuing the progress he made with the Panasonic Toyota Racing Team in 2003.

He ended last season – his first with the team – on a high when he qualified third for the United States Grand Prix, and scored the team’s best result of this year so far on his return to Indy last week.

“The aim for the rest of the year is very clear,” he says. “We want to be competitive at every race and that means scoring points in every race, progressing with the revised car to try to challenge for the team’s first podium position and improve on the disappointment of the first half of the season.”

“I had a great first season with Panasonic Toyota Racing,” continues Olivier. “At the beginning of last year I needed to learn the team and they needed to learn the way that I like to work. That is all finished now and we can now be certain of extracting the maximum from ourselves and from the new car.”

The Frenchman is among the elite group of drivers who have won a Grand Prix, having mastered the streets of Monaco in wet conditions back in 1996. The 2004 season will be Olivier’s 11th in Formula 1, which makes him the third most experienced driver in F1 and, at 37, also the oldest. Although he celebrated his 150th Formula 1 race at Indianapolis, he says that his motivation and passion for the sport remain undiminished.

“I think I want to succeed more now than at any time in the past. I really believe in what we have at Toyota and want to ensure that we achieve success in Formula 1 as soon as possible.”

CAREER AT A GLANCE

  • 2004: F1 – Panasonic Toyota Racing
  • 2003: F1 – Panasonic Toyota Racing: 15th
  • 2002: F1 – BAR-Honda: 14th
  • 2001: F1 – BAR-Honda: 14th
  • 2000: F1 Test and Development Driver – McLaren-Mercedes
  • 1999: F1 – Prost-Peugeot: 15th
  • 1998: F1 – Prost-Peugeot: 18th
  • 1997: F1 – Prost-Mugen-Honda: 9th
  • 1996: F1 – Ligier-Mugen-Honda: 9th (1 win)
  • 1995: F1 – Ligier-Mugen-Honda: 8th
  • 1994: F1 – Ligier-Renault: 11th
  • 1993: International Formula 3000: 1st (3 wins)
  • 1992: International Formula 3000: 10th
  • 1991: French Formula 3: 2nd (5 wins)
  • 1990: French Formula 3: 4th
  • 1989: French Formula Renault: 1st (5 wins)
  • 1988: French Formula Renault: 4th
  • 1987: Volant Elf award at Winfield Driving School at Circuit Paul Ricard
  • 1981-87: Karting

ENDS