“Timo Glock was suffering from a very heavy cold and fever, allowing third driver Kamui Kobayashi to join Jarno Trulli in practice today,” said the press release from Toyota.
Kobayashi, driving a 2009 challenger for the first time during a Grand Prix weekend, managed to score only the 19th best time during P1 and come 12th overall during the second practice. Due to the rainy weather conditions in the afternoon, he didn't get to do many laps around the Suzuka track.
“I only heard I would be driving today at 8.30 this morning when I was on my way to the circuit; it was a bit of a surprise because even though I knew Timo was sick, I wasn't expecting this,” said Kobayashi.
“It was a really good opportunity for me but the conditions were pretty bad and I didn't get a lot of laps in the end. I had quite a good run in the first session and I was trying to improve step by step. I wasn't pushing 100% due to the wet conditions but still the lap times were pretty good, especially considering I don't have much experience of this track and haven't driven here for six years."
Glock is set to return to Formula One action on Saturday, as he hardly lost any mileage today.
“Timo should be back tomorrow and he will not suffer from missing today's practice - unless the weather forecast changes - because it wasn't possible to do any significant preparation for dry running,” said Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test for Toyota F1 Team.
Earlier this week, it has emerged that Jarno Trulli was also recovering from a fever that he caught in Singapore, last weekend. However, the Italian managed to recuperate in time and joined Kobayashi in the Toyota lineup on Friday.