F1

Toyota's Glock tops Friday practice in Japan

Toyota's Glock tops Friday practice in Japan

Timo Glock on Friday put his Toyota T108 atop time sheets and held off all comers in second free practice for Sunday's Formula One Grand Prix of Japan. Timo Glock, Toyota F1 Team. Photo by xpb.cc. The German's time of 1 minute,...

Timo Glock on Friday put his Toyota T108 atop time sheets and held off all comers in second free practice for Sunday's Formula One Grand Prix of Japan.

Timo Glock, Toyota F1 Team.
Photo by xpb.cc.

The German's time of 1 minute, 18.355 seconds was fastest of the day's two 90-minute practice sessions at Fuji Speedway, majority-owned by the Toyota Motor Company.

Sebastien Bourdais for Scuderia Toro Rosso, Fernando Alonso for Renault, Lewis Hamilton for McLaren Mercedes, Felipe Massa for Ferrai, Adrian Sutil for Force India, Jarno Trulli for Toyota, and Sebastian Vettel for Toro Rosso each set fast time before Glock claimed the distinction.

Hamilton went quickest in first practice, recording a 1:18.910, as Massa, McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen followed. Those four represented the form showing through most of this season, but their stranglehold on the top spots has been challenged of late, especially by Vettel and Alonso, winners of the two most recent races.

Following Glock in the second session were Alonso (1:18.426), Hamilton (1:18.463), Massa (1:18.491), Raikkonen (1:18.725), Red Bull's Mark Webber (1:18.734), Kazuki Nakajima (1:18.734), and Vettel (1:18.761). Less than a one-second margin covered 17 runners. The slowest runner, Jenson Button in a Honda RA108, barely timed under 1:20; the Englishman set a 1:19.99.

Still, the day's work was about chassis settings, tire choices and rubbering in the course. Bridgestone offered tires daubed with green paint in promotion of ecological considerations. The so-designated tires blurred at speed, making determining compounds tricky for non-team members.

Last year's race winner Hamilton enters the contest seven points ahead of Massa in World Drivers' Championship points. McLaren holds a one-point lead over Ferrari for the constructors' title.

The return of F1 to Fuji last year after a three-decade absence will be remembered for being run behind a safety car on a track under water -- and for Finn Kovalainen beating countryman Raikkonen. Rain is forecast for Saturday but race day is expected to stay dry.

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