On a day when team-mate Jarno Trulli was taken out at the first corner and fourth place in the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship was put officially out-of-reach, Timo Glock at least gave Toyota some reason to cheer with a gritty drive to take seventh place in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
Having been knocked out at the second stage of qualifying and therefore taking the start from just twelfth on the grid, the young German conceded ground early on due to running the heaviest fuel load of any driver in the field, but solid pace saw him rise to seventh spot by the time he eventually came in on lap 32 of 56, and he would regain that position after the second round of pit visits had shaken out, to boost his hopes of holding on to a place in the top ten in the final standings come season's end.
“That was the most that we could have got out of today,” the 26-year-old reflected after the race, “so we should be satisfied. We struggled a bit to warm up the tyres at the beginning, but from then on the car felt good and we had very good pace.
“At the end of the first stint I had a light car, but I couldn't make the most of it because I was stuck behind Nick Heidfeld when he came out of his first stop. We lost some time there and maybe lost a place to Robert Kubica, but we were quick again at the end. The strategy worked well, so thanks to all the guys.”
That praise was mutual, with the Cologne-based outfit's team principal Tadashi Yamashima full of enthusiasm for a driver who – as the campaign has progressed – has increasingly marked himself out as a promising bet for the years to come.
“Timo did a great job,” Yamashima-san underlined, “especially considering how practice and qualifying had gone for him. He drove well and the one-stop strategy was the right one.
“Now both drivers should now be very focused on the last race in Brazil. Of course we will never give up, and [we will] try to come away with the best possible result.”