Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto both had large sections for the Fuji crowd willing them on on the opening day of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, but were forced to settle for propping up the timesheets.

Although he ran faster in the warmer morning session, Sato's time from the opening 90 minutes was only good enough to move off last spot when the two sessions were combined, demoting Spyker's Yamamoto back to 22nd after both ran into problems.

While Super Aguri team-mate Anthony Davidson enjoyed a taste of the top ten before lunch, Sato was not happy with his reliveried SA07, resulting in the rear of the car being changed at the cost of valuable running time.

"I had a mechanical problem during the first session, which meant that I was only able to complete two outings this morning," the 'veteran' confirmed, "We lost a lot of time necessary for the testing you need for a new circuit and, because of this, we were forced to rush and cut out some of our programme this afternoon.

"We had to evaluate the balance on long runs for the different downforce levels as this is very important, but it meant that I was not able to set-up the car as I would have liked to and it was more of a data collecting exercise. Hopefully, though, with the work that we managed to complete today, we will be able to set-up the car more competitively and have a better day tomorrow."

Yamamoto's morning was brought to a premature end when he pulled off with an engine problem with just 17 laps under his belt, but he returned to the track in the afternoon to put further miles on the second Spyker.

"I had an engine failure and had to stop, which was a bit of a shame as it was the first time we had run here and we wanted to put in as much mileage as possible," he sighed, "But, in the afternoon, I think we did quite a good job as it all went to plan and I think we have some good data for tomorrow."

 

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