Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-06)
3rd Practice: 8th, 1m 24.859s (+1.677s), 5 laps 1st Qualifying: 11th, 1m 24.621s (+1.793s), 11 laps 2nd Qualifying: 3rd, 1m 20.635s (+0.267s), 10 laps 3rd Qualifying: 4th, 1m 20.097s (+0.521s), 8 laps
Kamui Kobayashi (Car 10, Chassis TF109-04) 3rd Practice: 20th, 1m 30.259s (+7.077s), 4 laps 1st Qualifying: 7th, 1m 24.335s (+1.507s), 11 laps 2nd Qualifying: 11th, 1m 21.960s (+1.592s), 11 laps
Panasonic Toyota Racing recorded a positive result in a severely rain-affected qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in Sao Paulo today. Jarno Trulli starts from a strong second-row position while Kamui Kobayashi, a replacement for the injured Timo Glock, will make his Grand Prix debut from 11th after an impressive effort. Heavy rain played havoc with proceedings having already restricted final practice to just 18 minutes this morning. The storms caused an eight-minute delay in first qualifying before both drivers ventured out on wet Bridgestone Potenza tyres. On a very wet track they both performed well to progress to the second session, which was initially delayed by 16 minutes due to the conditions then, after just two minutes of action, halted for one hour and 11 minutes. When the rain finally stopped, qualifying could resume and Kamui was desperately close to claiming a top-10 spot, dropping to 11th in the last seconds as Jarno, also on intermediate tyres by now, progressed in the top three. Track conditions continued to improve in third qualifying, where Jarno used intermediate tyres to claim fourth place with his final flying lap.
"It was a very intense qualifying session. In first qualifying the only target was to keep the car on the track and try to do a reasonable lap time because the conditions were horrible, with a lot of aquaplaning. It was extremely hard and the important thing was to stay focused; we managed to get through which was the important thing. In second and third qualifying it was much better and the car was running well so I was able to push harder. I enjoyed it because we were putting in some quick lap times on the right tyres and it's good to be on the second row. It would be nice to repeat the Japanese Grand Prix podium and I will be fighting hard."
"That was a very difficult session for my first qualifying experience in Formula 1. The conditions were really hard because from lap to lap the situation changed and there was a lot of aquaplaning. I have never driven this track in those conditions before so it was certainly not easy but the car felt good. I made a small mistake on my last lap in second qualifying so I missed out on the top 10 which I am a bit frustrated about. But overall, to qualify in 11th for my Grand Prix debut in conditions like that is a good result which is more than I expected so I am happy with it. We'll see how it goes in the race tomorrow; it would be great to score points and I will be doing my best to achieve that."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis "A qualifying session of almost three hours is quite unique and I haven't experienced anything like it before in Formula 1. But the team and drivers performed well to stay focused and prepared through such a chaotic session. In the end we are pleased with the result, although we were targeting the front row. Both drivers did a very good job in difficult and changing conditions. Jarno showed he has the potential to score a lot of points tomorrow and we are really happy for Kamui. He missed on the top 10 by a tiny margin but 11th place in his first Formula 1 qualifying session is a great achievement, especially considering the weather. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow when the weather could play a part again, so it should be an interesting race."
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