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Posts Tagged ‘Timo Glock’

Sebastian Vettel in Red Bull RB5 at Jerez

Tuesday saw the latest pre-season tests begin with Toyota, Ferrari and BMW moving to Bahrain in the hope to avoid rain, and Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams, McLaren and Renault sticking in Spain. Sebastien Buemi added to his huge amount of mileage in last year’s Toro Rosso, and finished top at Jerez with his 3 second advantage, whilst things were a whole lot closer in the desert.

Fellow Seb, this one named Vettel, was busy giving the Red Bull RB5 it’s first few runs after the car was launched earlier that morning.  He set the fastest time of all the ’09 contenders before he was forced out of the car early due to a gearbox problem. Nico Hulkenburg was a busy man as he put the Williams Fw31 just three tenths behind Vettel’s shiny new Red Bull. Heikki Kovalainen put his McLaren half a second ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr’s Renault, with rain only making a brief interruption in the day’s running.

Meanwhile at Bahrain, Timo Glock put Toyota’s TF109 on top, just 0.1 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa and the F60, who was in turn just 0.1 seconds ahead of Robert Kubica and the F1.09.

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TF109 Launch Image

Toyota revealed their 2009 car, the TF109, for the first time on Thursday. The car was launched online with a short movie made in the style of a film trailer which featured drivers Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi. Along with the rest of the 2009 cars, the TF109 looks strikingly different to last years racer, with the standard much higher rear wing and wider front wing the most noticeable changes.

Toyota have made clear their aim for 2009 is to achieve their maiden race win. Having competed in the sport for 7 years with the largest budget, some members of the team hinted that if success does not come soon, Toyota may lose interest in F1 and follow Honda out of the sport. Trulli talked about the Japanese manufacturer’s commitment to F1 saying: “Toyota’s message has been very clear: we carry on with F1, however we all have a great responsibility to try to bring home the maiden victory, which could be decisive for the future.” John Howett, the teams president, echoed Trulli’s sentiments, saying: “To put ourselves in the best possible position to fight for our first victory, we need to be consistently challenging for the podium and scoring big points regularly.” Team principal Tadashi Yamashina added: “When I took over as Chairman and Team Principal in 2007 I stated my task for the first year would be to observe, for the second year it would be to improve and for the third year and beyond it would be to succeed. This is my third season so it is very clear for me – I want to see us win a race”

The team are very confident for the future, though, with Howett believing there is no doubt about Toyota’s long-term involvement in the sport. This comes on the same day that Panasonic extended their title sponsorship deal with Toyota until 2012.

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Timo Glock has topped the time sheets for the second practice session at the Fuji Speedway. His best lap for Toyota was a 1:18.383, putting him ahead of Singapore Grand Prix winner, Fernando Alonso, who went just 0.04 seconds slower for Renault as lap times noticeably improved from the first session.

The top two finished ahead of the main title rivals, who stayed in the same order as the in the morning session, with Lewis Hamilton extending the gap to 0.2 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa’s best lap. Kimi Raikkonen followed the two closely throughout the session, whilst Mark Webber pushed his Red Bull into the top six. Kazuki Nakajima continued his strong pace at the circuit, proving his knowledge of the track, and improving to seventh for Williams in front of his home fans. Sebastian Vettel kept Toro Rosso in the top ten, beating McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen could only manage tenth ahead of Jarno Trulli, Robert Kubica, Nelson Piquet Jr, Nico Rosberg and Sebstien Bourdais. Toyota had more reason to celebrate as their arch-rivals, Honda, had a poor session with Rubens Barrichello in fifteenth and Jenson Button last, despite being only 1.6 seconds adrift of Timo Glock. Adrian Sutil, David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella and Nick Heidfeld joined Honda at the bottom.

Friday action is complete, and as F1 heads into the final practice session and qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, the battle this time looks to be set between the title rivals, unless Toyota or Renault can spring another surprise.

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Timo Glock set the fastest time in an hour of difficult conditions, which saw parts of the track underwater. The real front-runners left it too late to set notable times, so Glock and Toyota were on P1 for most of the session, a time of 1:35.464, a full 0.6 seconds faster than Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel, and Nico Rosberg was a further 0.2 seconds behind for Williams.

Jarno Trulli made a good session better for Toyota in fourth, whilst their challengers for fourth place, Renault, managed only 9th and 14th. BMW sat in 6th and 12th, Nick Heidfeld 0.6 seconds faster than Robert Kubica. Force India took 10th and 11th and David Coulthard, in seventh,  was 0.6 seconds faster than his teammate, Mark Webber.

Qualifying is next, and if the weather stays as it is, it could be very eventful.

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Lewis Hamilton has been stripped of his win and demoted to third in the aftermath of this years Belgian Grand Prix.  The McLaren driver has been given a 25 second penalty, handing Ferrari’s Felipe Massa the race win and promoting Nick Heidfeld to second.

Hamilton was penalised for cutting the chicane and gaining an advantage on lap 41 whilst battling with eventual retiree, Kimi Raikkonen. This means Hamiltons championship lead is now down to only 2 points as Massa takes the full 10 points from the race. McLaren have announced their intention to appeal against the decision.

Toyota’s Timo Glock has also been given a timed penalty of 25 seconds, effectively an post race drive-though. He passed Mark Webber for eighth even though yellow flags were being waved for Raikkonen’s stricken Ferrari. The penalty puts him down to ninth.

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