Panasonic Toyota Racing began a new era today with Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi testing for the first time since being confirmed as race driver and third driver respectively for 2008. Both drivers got their first taste of the TF107, although Kamui's car featured significant changes with a view to next season, including a revised rear end.
Timo and Kamui left the pit garage at Jerez in unison just a minute after the green flag flew and completed installation laps. Both drivers soon got to work understanding their new machinery and making initial set-up changes, with no problems on either car.
Kamui had a highly productive day and clocked a mammoth 114 laps - more than any other driver - as he got back into the Formula 1 groove with his first full test for the team since December 2006. Timo, using 2007 electronics without traction control or engine braking, soon struck up a strong working relationship with the team and he also steadily improved his lap times as he became more familiar with the TF107. Timo and Kamui continue tomorrow.
"It was great to get back in a Formula 1 car again. Even though I don't officially become third driver until January, it feels like I have already begun my role and today I was able to learn a lot about the car. At the start of the day I was just trying to get comfortable with the car and the track and I was able to do a lot of laps which really helped me."
"In the afternoon I could work more on set-up and understanding the development parts on the car and I think we made some good progress. I enjoy working with the team and this test is great experience for me before I officially start as third driver next year. Now I can't wait to get back in the car tomorrow."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis:
"It has been a very interesting experience to have two new drivers in the car today. We are very pleased to have Timo in the car and he has made a strong first impression. He is very focused and worked hard today to understand the car and make some improvements in set-up."
"As expected, he did a good job and provided solid feedback, which is very useful for us. He drove without driver aids today but that was no problem for him because of his experience in GP2 driving without traction is natural to him."
"The team already know Kamui from his tests with us last winter but he is a young driver with not so much Formula 1 experience so he had to acclimatise and get used to a Formula 1 car again. He did a good job, didn't make any mistakes and gave us some data on set-up with the new electronics system and new rear end. He also completed an impressive number of laps which shows how fit he is."
Best Lap Time: 1min 21.336s
Total laps: 69
Total distance: 305.532km
Best Lap Time: 1min 22.196s
Total laps: 114
Total distance: 504.792km