Toyota substantially increased their grip on fourth spot in the 2008 Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship standings after the European Grand Prix in Valencia this weekend – with both of the Cologne-based outfit's cars coming home in the points, and their three chief competitors registering just a single point between them.
Having already put himself in a strong position by qualifying seventh – despite having missed a good deal of track time during practice and confessing to having gone into the session 'blind' in terms of set-up – Jarno Trulli proved stronger still in the race.
After leapfrogging Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel during his first pit-stop, the 34-year-old went on to hound the Ferrari of defending F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, ultimately making it past the Finn when the latter pulled over his refueller at his second stop, to seal fifth place at the close – his eighth points-scoring finish from twelve races this year.
“That was a good result and a great performance by the team,” underlined the Italian, now solidly ensconced in seventh place in the drivers' title chase. “The weekend started badly for me, but it has finished really well today so I'm happy.
“I could drive a strong race without attacking much. I pushed very hard when I needed to, while paying attention to taking care of my tyres and my brakes throughout. This shows how good we are getting, and how nice it is to race with a competitive car every weekend.
“Toyota is doing a very good job this year and looking strong and more competitive at every circuit. The team is still pushing with the development work, so I'm confident that we can maintain the form in the coming races and keep the points coming.”
Seventeen seconds behind Trulli at the flag was the sister TF108 of Timo Glock, the young German getting in amongst the points for only the third time this season – but second time in succession following on from his stand-out Hungary podium charge.
Having failed to live up to his own expectations in qualifying, the reigning GP2 Series Champion made a bright start to gain three places and immediately vault himself up into the top ten, before going on to exploit his daring one-stop strategy to perfection to cross the finish line seventh, despite admitting to feeling far from 100 per cent.
“That was one of my hardest races ever because I have had a bad cold for the last two days,” the 26-year-old explained, “but I had a good car and the right strategy and I think P7 was the best result we could have achieved today, so I'm really happy.