Toyota's Formula One team had an unusual look about it as the final group test of the season kicked off at Jerez on Tuesday, with Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi replacing more familiar faces in the cockpit of the TF107.

Interestingly, neither driver was 'officially' a Toyota man as the track action kicked off, with Glock having been 'allowed' to run with his 2008 employer by previous paymaster BMW Sauber and Kobayashi not due to take up his reserve driver role until the New Year. But they did not that let that hold them back, as both got a first taste of the TF107.

The newcomers left the pit garage in unison just a minute after the green flag flew to complete their installation laps, but were soon getting down to work learning the car and making initial set-up changes to suit their own personal tastes. Neither reported any significant problems, despite Kobayashi running a heavily revised car, featuring significant changes to the rear end with one eye on 2008.

The Japanese driver, who graduates to GP2 with DAMS next season, enjoyed a highly productive day, clocking up a mammoth 114 laps - more than any other driver - as he got back into the F1 groove with his first full test since December 2006.

"It was great to get back in an F1 car again," he admitted, "Even though I don't officially become third driver until January, it feels like I have already begun my role and, today, I was able to learn a lot about the car.

"At the start of the day, I was just trying to get comfortable with the car and the track, and I was able to do a lot of laps which really helped me. In the afternoon, I could work more on set-up and understanding the development parts on the car and I think we made some good progress. I enjoy working with the team and this test is great experience for me before I officially start as third driver. I can't wait to get back in the car tomorrow."

Glock, prevented from commenting on his run because of the favour accorded by BMW, ran 2007 electronic systems but with traction control and engine braking functions removed, completing 69 laps.

"It has been a very interesting experience to have two new drivers in the car today," senior general manager Pascal Vasselon admitted, "We are very pleased to have Timo in the car and he has made a strong first impression. He is very focused and worked hard today to understand the car and make some improvements in set-up. He drove without driver aids today, but that was no problem for him because of his experience in GP2 driving without traction is natural to him. As expected, he did a good job and provided solid feedback, which is very useful for us."

 

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