Jarno Trulli (Car 9, Chassis TF109-04)
3rd Practice: 2nd, 1m 36.272s (+0.139s), 22 laps 1st Qualifying: 9th, 1m 36.308s (+0.775s), 8 laps 2nd Qualifying: 5th, 1m 35.645s (+0.515s), 6 laps 3rd Qualifying: 6th, 1m 36.835s (+0.651s), 7 laps
Timo Glock (Car 10, Chassis TF109-05)
3rd Practice: 20th, 1m 39.110s (+2.977s), 6 laps 1st Qualifying: 10th, 1m 36.364s (+0.831s), 8 laps 2nd Qualifying: 14th (grid: 19th), 1m 36.066s (+0.936s), 6 laps
Panasonic Toyota Racing will head into tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix with one car on row three of the grid after a tight qualifying session at the Shanghai International Circuit. On a sunny day in China, air temperatures ranged from 22-25°C while the track was 33-38°C. Timo Glock's day got off to an unfortunate start when he had a gearbox problem early in the morning practice session. That required a gearbox change and left him with a five-place grid penalty. This afternoon, in Q1 both drivers did their first run on the medium compound Bridgestone tyre before switching to the super soft for the second run. They stayed on the softer rubber for the rest of the sessions. Jarno had a successful afternoon, making it through to Q3 and setting the 6th fastest time. After his morning troubles, Timo struggled for grip in Q2 and qualified in 14th place, although he will drop to 19th after his penalty.
"It was a hard qualifying for me and I'm a bit disappointed with the results because after this morning's practice session I believed we had the pace to be at the front. But somehow, just as in Australia, the grip slipped away between this morning and this afternoon. Something was missing after that, the car wasn't there any more and I had to push hard even to make it into Q3. Still, I was happy with my final lap and in the end P6 is a reasonable place to start. Tomorrow should be a good race and there could be rain so that could mix things up."
"This morning I had a gearbox problem after three or four laps in free practice so we lost a complete session. So I was short of track time heading into qualifying. The car felt different from yesterday and it was already really tricky to drive in Q1. I couldn't string a lap together and I knew it would be difficult to get into Q3 because the times were so tight. It felt slippery, I couldn't quite feel confident with the car and on the last lap I made a mistake so that was that. With our penalty it means we are starting from the back row so now we just have to hope for rain tomorrow."
Pascal Vasselon - Senior General Manager Chassis "This was obviously a disappointing result, far away from our 2009 standards. Timo had a gearbox problem this morning which we couldn't repair so we were forced to change the unit for qualifying. So Timo had a troubled day and a troubled qualifying, which together with the penalty means he will start on the back row. Of course we will amend his strategy for this position. For Jarno it went better, but still far from expectations. The tyres have been the story of the weekend, especially the management of the softer compound, which is better than expected but still problematic. There is a window for a three-stop strategy here so it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds."