After two seasons with moneybags Toyota, Timo Glock has switched to Virgin, a team who’ve promised to operate on F1’s smallest budget. His F1 experience prior to this year was of fighting for points and grabbing the odd podium, so we think you’ll agree that the German racer has faced something of a change since hooking up with the new boys for 2010. Badger had a chat with him on the eve of the Turkish GP to see how the transition was going.
First off, how are you feeling six races in to your career as a Virgin Racing driver?
Well, not perfect. We’ve struggled quite a lot in the races, and struggled to finish. I’ve only had the one finish in Barcelona, which is disappointing. We have to improve the technical aspects of the car and really just try to finish races and be the best of the new teams.
What has struck you as the most positive thing about the Virgin team?
The atmosphere in the team is really good, and the way they cope with the problems of a new team. In general I think we get on with things quite well and focus on sorting out the problems with the car. That’s all quite positive.
So how did your signing for Virgin come about- what convinced you to take a chance on a brand new team?
The situation in Formula One. I mean, I was with Toyota and then they stepped out at the end of the year and suddenly my whole situation changed. Then I got this chance with Virgin and I just… took it.
You’ve switched from a team fighting for points and podiums to one where just finishing a race is an achievement. Have you had to alter your approach to racing this year?
Yeah definitely. I mean there isn’t really a race going on for us on Sundays because we’re just fighting against the blue flags and the top teams are lapping us. That’s not a proper race, but that’s how it is. We’ve just got to get on with it and try to improve.
At the moment the important thing is for both cars to finish and to try to make little improvements here and there with the car, little aero updates. Hopefully things will go right and take us a step forward.
How are you getting on with your new teammate?
Oh, very good. I mean, I already knew him and had a good relationship with him from GP2 and it’s working out quite well.
You beat him to the GP2 title in 2007- do you ever bring this up, just to remind him who’s boss?
Haha! No, I think he knows it! He doesn’t need reminding.
Is Istanbul Park a circuit you enjoy?
Yeah it’s good. We’ve had good racing here in the past and I’ve had good races here in GP2. So yeah, I like the track and it’s good fun.
Tell us a bit about turn 8…
Yeah, it’s quite a nice corner, an interesting corner, and really long. There’s no corner like it on any other track and that makes it pretty nice.
Pretty intense we reckon! Tell us how you relax away from the circuit?
Generally I just try to spend some time on my bike and do a bit of the workout, riding through the forest or whatever. That’s the best way for me to get away from the race weekend.
Right, moving away from the F1- today we asked our Twitter followers what they thought your favourite type of biscuit was. Would you like to put them out of their suspense?
(excitedly) Chocolate biscuit!
Cheers Timo, that’ll be a relief to a lot of people! Sticking with the non-F1 chat, what road car are you driving at the moment?
At the moment I’ve got a Nissan GTR.
And is there any particular music you like to listen to in the Nissan?
(Slightly confused) All sorts… I just switch on the radio and listen to whatever’s going on on the radio.
Okay then… A few more quick questions: who is your sporting hero outside of motor racing?
I’d say Roger Federer is the big man for me. He really knows how to keep up his level over many, many years and I guess he’s had quite an interesting life.
What about football? Will you be cheering Germany during the World Cup next month?
Yeah, for sure. I’ll try to watch all the games and hopefully they can get to the semi-final or maybe even the final. But I think getting to the final would be quite difficult for us.
We’ve seen Glockdog written on the side of your helmet- where did the nickname come from?
My helmet designer came up with that, he put the logo on my helmet. His idea…
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a racing driver?
Well, my dad has a scaffolding company. So I think I’d work at that. Yeah.
And finally, when you retire from racing how would you like Formula One fans to remember you?
As a big World Champion!
All images courtesy of Virgin Racing Media