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Japanese GP 2008

OCTOBER 10, 2008

Practice 2 Report - The car in front IS a Toyota

Timo Glock, Japanese GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive

Friday is traditionally a day when teams can make themselves look good if they choose to do so, and thus it was no great surprise to see Timo Glock go fastest in his Toyota, at the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway in Toyota-mad Japan. It was a move which guaranteed lots of excited Japanese people, dreaming no doubt of a Toyota victory but on paper, at least, that is about as likely as Mount Fuji erupting for the first time in 300 years. There are no miracles in motor racing. And yet in the last two races we have seen wins for Scuderia Toro Rosso and Renault. In a normal world all the races this year would have been won by either McLaren or Ferrari but we have now seen five different teams winning, mainly because of mistakes made by the big teams. Could Japan provide a sixth?

Friday is not the right time to make such predictions because there is plenty of room to fiddle.

Thus Glock's fastest time was viewed in F1 circles as being a major public realtions exercise for Toyota.

Fernando Alonso was second quickest for Renault and that was pretty strange too. It was only when we got to third and fourth that things began to look more sensible with Lewis Hamilton just faster than Felipe Massa. Kimi Raikkonen was next, ahead of Mark Webber, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastian Vettel.

Heikki Kovalainen was ninth quickest ahead of Jarno Trulli (in the sort of place one would expect to find a Toyota) and then Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber. Nelson Piquet was 11th ahead of Nico Rosberg's Williams, Sebastian Bourdais's Toro Rosso, Rubens Barrichello's Honda, the Force India of Adrian Sutil and then the two veterans David Coulthard and Giancarlo Fisichella, ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Jenson Button.

Did this all mean anything?

Probably not.