Final practice - Trulli puts Toyota ahead on home soil 03 Oct 2009
Jarno Trulli bounced back from his disappointments in Singapore by setting the fastest time for Toyota when the final practice session for Sundays Japanese Grand Prix took place on a dry Suzuka circuit on Saturday morning.
Sebastien Buemi had set the pace all through for Toro Rosso, but in the dying moments the Italian beat him by 0.062s with a lap of 1m 31.709s compared to the Swiss drivers 1m 31.771s. They were the only two below 1m 32s.
Nico Rosberg was another late improver, pushing his Toyota-engined Williams round in 1m 32.343s for third ahead of Sebastian Vettels Red Bull on 1m 32.414s, Kimi Raikkonens Ferrari on 1m 32.445s, Adrian Sutils Force India on 1m 32.467s and Rubens Barrichellos Brawn on 1m 32.488s.
The times in the midfield were incredibly close, with 17 cars within half a second of Rosberg.
Heikki Kovalainen was eighth for McLaren in 1m 32.546s, followed by Brawns Jenson Button (1m 32.668s), Toro Rossos Jaime Alguersuari (1m 32.689s), Renaults Romain Grosjean (1m 32.717s), BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld (1m 32.736s), Renaults Fernando Alonso (1m 32.742s), Toyotas Timo Glock (back up and running with 1m 32.749s), Williams Kazuki Nakajima (1m 32.752s), McLarens Lewis Hamilton (1m 32.789s), BMW Saubers Robert Kubica (1m 32.848s), Ferraris Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 32.878s) and Red Bulls Mark Webber (1m 32.930s).
At the back, Tonio Liuzzi was within tenths of team mate Sutil after their first runs but struggled with understeer and did not better 1m 33.167s in the second Force India.
As expected there were several incidents, the most serious of which befell Webber when he went off, without personal damage, and hit the wall at Degner 2. Kovalainen also went off there but continued, having already been off the road in the chicane. The latter also saw Kubica, Alguersuari off the road and Grosjean spin, while Heidfeld spun at the hairpin and Alonso went off at Spoon.