Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
3rd Practice: 4th, 1m 36.132s (+0.192s), 21 laps 1st Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 34.745s (+0.064s), 7 laps 2nd Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 33.990s (+0.206s), 6 laps 3rd Qualifying: 2nd, 1m 35.273s (+0.092s), 7 laps
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
3rd Practice: 5th, 1m 36.189s (+0.249s), 22 laps 1st Qualifying: 3rd, 1m 34.907s (+0.226s), 9 laps 2nd Qualifying: 4th, 1m 34.258s (+0.474s), 8 laps 3rd Qualifying: 5th (grid: 3rd), 1m 35.690s (+0.509s), 7 laps
Panasonic Toyota Racing will start the Malaysian Grand Prix with two cars in the top three after a close qualifying session at Sepang International Circuit today. The session started in late afternoon with threatening rain clouds gathering but air temperatures nevertheless of 29-30°C and track temperatures of 36-40°C. After testing both Bridgestone Potenza tyres in practice, both drivers used the hard tyres at the beginning but then switched to the softer option to ease through Q1, when just 1.5secs covered the entire grid. It was also close in Q2 but both Toyotas comfortably made it through, again on the option tyres. As usual, the top-10 shoot-out in Q3 was a close affair but Jarno was always in the fight for pole position and he claimed second in the very last seconds as the rain stayed away. Timo, who also used the soft compound for his flying laps, improved significantly with his final run to set the fifth fastest time. However, due to penalties for other cars he will start third.
"The team has done a fantastic job, we stayed away from traffic and the car was feeling good, so it has been a very successful day for us. The car feels strong now but I have to admit I wasn't sure I would be in this position after practice yesterday because it was quite difficult. I worked hard with my engineers to analyse the data and make some improvements to the set-up and we got it spot-on in qualifying. In a way it's a little disappointing to miss pole position by just a few hundredths but that's how close Formula 1 is at the moment. Compared to last year we are much more competitive this season and instead of fighting for the top six we are now here fighting in the top three. I hope for a strong race tomorrow and I will fight as hard as I can."
"Overall the qualifying went quite well and I'm happy to be starting third. But I'm a bit frustrated with my final lap in Q3 because I was struggling a little bit to get used to how the car felt with a heavier fuel load. That meant I didn't get 100% out of the car. In Q2, on a light fuel load, I made a few mistakes on my first run but then I got it absolutely right on the second and I was really pleased with my lap. In the end it's a good result for the whole team to have two cars in the top three. It will be a tricky race and Jarno and I will push each other very hard but we also have to think about the weather because that could be a factor."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis "We are very pleased with this result even if the ultimate target is to be on pole position. Yesterday's sessions went so-so I would say, we were not completely happy with the car balance and the grip but obviously we have reacted well overnight and finally it has been a very good team result. Thanks to Bridgestone, the tyre situation here is quite easy to handle for qualifying and the race so we don't expect anything unusual in that sense, which is the opposite of Melbourne when the final laps were dictated by the tyres. So all in all it has been a good weekend so far and we are very optimistic for the race tomorrow."