Panasonic Toyota Racing
Australian Grand Prix - Race Round-Up
Grid: Started from the pit lane due to penalty Provisional Race Classification: 12th (+26.604)* Pit Stop Laps: 10, 33
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-03)
Grid: Started from the pit lane due to penalty Provisional Race Classification: 4th (+4.435s)* Pit Stop Laps: 18, 50 *As issued at 20.30 local time
Panasonic Toyota Racing started the 2009 Formula 1 season with a trip to the podium and a double points finish in an exciting Australian Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock started from the pit lane but battling opening laps saw both fight their way up the order. Jarno started on the super soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres and made an early pit stop for mediums while Timo was initially on the mediums, preferring a longer first stint. With plenty of incident elsewhere on the track, the two Toyotas made their way into the top 10, passing several cars on the way before a breath-taking final few laps. Jarno's long final stint saw him move into the points when other cars made their final pit stops and he showed great pace to come within sight of the podium, which became a reality after a late accident for two rivals lifted him to third. Timo chose to finish the race on the super soft tyres and passed several cars in a short final stint to take fifth as the race finished behind the safety car. Race stewards subsequently handed Jarno a 25s penalty for overtaking under safety car conditions, but the team has filed an appeal within the proscribed time period.
"I can't say how disappointed I am to finish third but have the result questioned. When the safety car came out towards the end of the race Lewis Hamilton passed me but soon after he suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road. I thought he had a problem so I overtook him as there was nothing else I could do. I would still like to say thank you to the team who have made a huge effort. The fact we were able to fight for the podium despite starting from the pit lane is down to them."
"I am happy to finish fourth but obviously it is really disappointing for Jarno. For us to be fighting at the front like that after we started from the pit lane really shows the strong performance we have. This is proof that our car has real pace. It was a good race for me and I have to say thanks to the team for their hard work in achieving this. The race was pretty exciting but I was stuck behind the Renault of Alonso for quite a while and it was difficult to overtake. My car felt good but I couldn't find a way past, however when I was in clear air I was able to go about a second faster so the performance is definitely there. I said before the weekend that we looked strong judging by our winter performance and it's great to show that in race conditions."
Tadashi Yamashina - Team Principal
"This is an extremely frustrating way to finish a challenging weekend. Already we were disappointed to be starting from the pit lane after we were informed yesterday about the problem with our rear wing. We responded to that in a fantastic way and we showed that our car has genuine performance. I would like to thank everyone who is part of our team, not just the guys at the track but also everyone at the factory, our partners and our fans. It's sad that this result has been questioned but we have filed an appeal to give us more time to study the data and the situation."