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Toyota field youngster Caldarelli at Bahrain test 18 Dec 2008

Toyota Young Drivers Programme member Andrea Caldarelli tests in Bahrain. © Toyota Toyota Young Drivers Programme member Andrea Caldarelli tests in Bahrain. © Toyota Toyota Young Drivers Programme member Andrea Caldarelli tests in Bahrain. © Toyota

Toyota have brought the curtain down on their 2008 testing programme by introducing a new face behind the wheel of the TF108. Italian youngster Andrea Caldarelli, a member of Toyota’s young driver programme since 2007, enjoyed his first official Formula One outing during the team’s three-day test at Bahrain this week.

Caldarelli, who hails from Pescara, the same Italian city as Toyota race driver Jarno Trulli, completed 128 laps over Monday and Tuesday, and ended with a best lap of 1m 33.170s. Last season he raced in both the Formula Renault West European Championship and Eurocup.

“This has been a great experience for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said “To get the chance to test a Formula One car when I am still only 18 is such a good opportunity and I was determined to make the most of it. Obviously the TF108 is a big step up compared to my usual car; the power is amazing but so are the brakes, and the grip you have going round corners takes a few laps to adjust to.

"I think I did a good job considering the circuit is new to me and this is my first full Formula One test. I would like to say thank you to Toyota for giving me the chance to test the TF108. This experience gives me extra motivation to fight as hard as possible to one day race a Formula One car.”

Timo Glock was also in action in Bahrain, continuing the team's 2009 preparations. Glock not only analysed Bridgestone's new slick tyres in conjunction with a low-downforce aerodynamic configuration, but tested a new gearbox and evaluated some mechanical devices to advance the team's KERS development. Toyota expect to run their complete KERS system for the first time in January.

Glock covered 258 laps during his three days in the car and clocked a best time of 1m 32.090s. Third driver Kamui Kobayashi, who took over Caldarelli’s TF108 on Wednesday, completed 33 laps to use up the final kilometres of the team's 2008 testing allowance.