Timo Glock emerged as the man to beat for Toyota as a three-team Formula One test kicked off at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Glock was joined on track by Ferrari's Felipe Massa and BMW's Robert Kubica on the opening day of the test, although running was delayed somewhat during the morning by fog which delayed the start by two hours.
However, once the fog cleared, Glock was able to work through a programme focused on set-up work on the new TF109 and was able to complete more than 80 laps over the course of the day with a best lap of 1min 33.501secs.
"After the weather intervened during our Portugal test, this was our first real chance to give the TF109 a run in dry conditions,” he said. “The fog held us up briefly at the start but it wasn't a major problem. We did a lot of set-up work and in the end we found a good direction. The car felt quite consistent so this is already a positive sign. We got through a lot of laps so this was an encouraging start to the test."
Glock was little more than a tenth of a second clear of Massa, who started his day with set-up work before completing a series of longer runs for the Scuderia
Those long runs were focused on reliability and to get used to the Bridgestone slick tyres, only an electrical issue meant that the Brazilian ran without his KERS system working for the whole day.
"I'd say that it was a positive start of this test session,” Massa said after completing the most laps of the three drivers on track. “We drove many kilometres, driving with continuity and we could quickly find a very good setup for the car.
"I'm especially satisfied with the constant lap times in the afternoon, when we drove some pretty long stints. But it's still far too early to understand where we are compared to our competitors. And there's still a lot of work to do to improve the car's behaviour.”
On a day where the drivers proved to be evenly matched, Kubica was barely two tenths of a second off the pace set by Glock.
Despite a brief delay when the car stopped on track, he completed more than 90 laps as the team took advantage of the improved weather conditions found in the Middle East to put mileage on its new car.
“It was the first time I was able to drive the new car in warm weather,” he said. “We learned a lot about the car's behaviour in these conditions, so overall it was a good day.”
Testing continues tomorrow.
For testing times, CLICK HERE