Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-06)
3rd Practice: 1st, 1m 31.709s 24 laps
1st Qualifying: 4th, 1m 31.063s (+0.180s), 9 laps 2nd Qualifying: 3rd, 1m 30.737s (+0.396s), 6 laps 3rd Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 32.220s (+0.060s), 5 laps
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
3rd Practice: 14th, 1m 32.749s (+1.040s), 26 laps 1st Qualifying: 14th, 1m 31.550s (+0.667s), 10 laps 2nd Qualifying: 14th, no lap time, 3 laps
Panasonic Toyota Racing endured a Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session of mixed emotions at Suzuka today. Jarno Trulli, who had been fastest in morning practice, gave the team its fourth front row start of the season but Timo Glock's qualifying ended early with a heavy accident in the second session. Timo, who suffered a minor cut to his left leg and some back pain but no significant injuries in the impact, was transferred to hospital in Yokkaichi for a check-up. Earlier in the day he had returned to the cockpit for morning practice after sitting out yesterday's action due to a very heavy cold and fever. Both drivers progressed through first qualifying on the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre. A red flag early in the second session caused an eight-minute delay and Jarno had just finished a scintillating lap on soft tyres when Timo, also set for an extremely quick lap, crashed at the final corner. That caused a 14-minute delay. A further red flag in the final session postponed matters for another five minutes but when the action resumed Jarno was in fine form, showing the impressive potential of the TF109 by claiming second place for Toyota's home race.
"Obviously I feel for Timo because we could both have been starting at the front of the grid today. It was good to hear quickly from the team that he is okay; just a bit upset he isn't in the top six with me. It was a crazy qualifying session in general with all the red flags and I am really happy with this result, especially in front of all our Japanese fans. The whole team has done a great job this weekend with our updated package to give me this chance to qualify on the front row. They have provided me with a car to fight at the front and I want to say thanks to them. My priority in qualifying was to keep my concentration because I knew we had a good chance to get a strong result. I think my lap time was the maximum I could get out of the car so I am very pleased with it. Now I am looking forward to the race tomorrow when obviously my aim is to finish on the podium in Toyota's home Grand Prix. I hope the first lap is clean and then I will do my best to get a great result."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis "All in all it was a very good day for Jarno which confirmed our package works really well on this kind of aero-dominated track. We saw already this morning that he was on for a great day and he had a really strong qualifying. We are obviously disappointed to miss out on pole position by less than a tenth of a second but confident our strategy will be very competitive tomorrow. For Timo it has been a different story. We are frustrated of course that he didn't qualify where we expected but happy that he is okay because that is always our priority. It was a heavy impact but the data shows no sign of anything unusual on that lap."