Qual 1: Trulli proves a point

Back from the sidelines and ready to make a point, Jarno Trulli topped the timesheets in pre-qualifying as track action at Suzuka kicked off once again. The Toyota driver wasted no time getting back into the swing of things having missed the Chinese GP two weeks ago and put Suzuka king Michael Schumacher in the shade in second spot.

Following the abandonment of qualifying on Saturday over fears of Typhoon 22, the cars returned to the track in what will be the busiest day of the year as drivers not only take part in two qualifying sessions, but have just hours to prepare for this afternoon's race.

Rubens Barrichello was first out of the box following his win at the Chinese Grand Prix two weeks ago. The Brazilian set the benchmark on the damp circuit and remained untouched by the four drivers that followed.

That was until home hero Takuma Sato hit the track and set a time nearly a second quicker than Barrichello using an upgraded Honda engine that has been fitted to both his and team-mate Jenson Button's cars.

Sato looked set to hog the top spot for most of the session, particularly when the Bridgestone-shod Sauber of Giancarlo Fisichella set the fastest time in the second sector. But the Italian missed out by just -0.016s.

Jaguar's Mark Webber sprung a surprise to steal the top spot from Sato, to the dismay of the Japanese fans, but the Australian did not hold on for it long for Suzuka specialist Schumacher stamped his authority on the session by going nearly eight tenths quicker than Webber.

All seemed settled, that was until Toyota's Jarno Trulli added his two pennies worth. Having completed in just one test session with his new team, the Italian, who was ditched by Renault after the Italian GP, was supposed to just blend in as he acclimatised to his new car. He was clearly having none of it though and preferred instead to declare that he was back and not to be messed with.

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