If you’re Timo Glock, what do you do? Having set a decent pace at Toyota and impressed enough folks to warrant a ride in F1; should you stay at Virgin or look elsewhere for fear of your career being stalled behind the long-term ramp-up period of a new team?
That’s the dilemma Glock is facing even though he has a contract with Virgin Racing for next year. I quite fancy Virgin Racing so I have no axe to grind with the teams lack of pace this year. They’ve met with the same kind of start-up issues as Lotus Racing and HRT…a lack of competitive pace. We all expected that though and thought the first year would be a terrific development year for both Virgin and Lotus as they have drivers like Glock, Trulli and Kovalainen.
I have to think Virgin have learned a lot this year and the bull-headed nature of CFD-only car may have proved something or disproved something depending on their findings. The lack of a wind tunnel facility rental invoice this winter will tell that story. The one element that the team certainly need is an experienced driver and they have that in Timo Glock. The next couple years will be tough for Virgin as they find their sea legs in F1 and if there is a way to shorten that learning curve, having Glock will certainly add to the equation.
What if you are Glock though? His career was stalled by Toyota’s failed attempt at F1 domination. The car company pulled the plug on their F1 operation in Cologne this past winter and have been peddling their 2010 chassis to the highest bidder. Glock did impress while at Toyota, however, and unfortunately there were precious few seats open by the time Toyota announced their withdrawal from the sport. Virgin Racing was there and willing. Should that loyalty be repaid? Not according to Glock, he’s in it to win it:
â€œIâ€™m keeping my eyes open,â€ the former Toyota and Jordan driver told itv.com/f1.
â€œWeâ€™ll see. If there is an opportunity at Renault, I donâ€™t know at the moment. Iâ€™m not that close talking to them.
â€œI have a longer contract at Virgin, but if things are not going as they should, what I said from the beginning on is I will have a look around and Iâ€™ll keep my eyes open.â€
Clearly Glock feels that Renault is a step forward and would be interested. Renault, and specifically Vitaly Petrov’s seat, have been the golden chalice of silly season this year. The seat was possibly open as hinted at by team boss Eric Boullier a few weeks ago and since then Petrov has been doing a terrific job even beating veteran teammate Robert Kubica last week in Hungary. Is the seat open? No one knows but Glock is keeping his eye on it along with a few thousand other drivers.
So what do you do? Repay Virgin’s loyalty in hiring you when there were hardly any seats left or do you look to salvage your F1 career by finding a home at Renault, Sauber, Mercedes GP or Williams? What do you think? Should he gamble and stay with Virgin and realize that the sharp end of the grid may be a few years off while his career has little room for a multi-year development program? Or is his shooting a little high with his aspirations?