Q&A with Toyotas Timo Glock 13 May 2008
The Turkish Grand Prix was a frustrating affair for Toyota's Timo Glock. After two strong performances during Fridays practice sessions, Glock only managed to qualify in 15th, following a problem with his cars front-right wheel, and eventually crossed the finish line on Sunday in 13th.
Despite an exasperating time at Istanbul Park, the German drivers enthusiasm for the TF108 remains undiminished and now hes eager to show what it can do at the Monaco race later this month
Q: You started 15th and finished 13th in Turkey. Do you feel you had much more performance than you were able to show?
Timo Glock: We definitely had more potential than the result suggests. We found a good set-up for the car on Friday and I was very optimistic about making it through to the last part of qualifying and getting a strong grid position, but then things didn't work out for me. From then on it was always going to be very difficult to score points.
Q: What happened to you in Q2?
TG: Unfortunately I went out with the first set of tyres, made a small mistake and didn't get the lap time. Then with the second set of tyres the car was really good, the lap was spot-on and already I was three tenths up on my 1m 26.6s lap from the first run. But, after Turn Eight on the run down to Turn Nine, a drive peg on the right front wheel broke and I had to back off. I think a top-ten grid position was realistic and I might have even made fifth or sixth in Q2 without my problem.
Q: What were the knock-on effects of qualifying 15th for your race?
TG: You have little choice but to fuel up the car for a long stint and see if you can use strategy to improve your position. It wasn't helped when I made a slow start and then had to avoid the accident between Kazuki Nakajima and Giancarlo Fisichella. In the first stint I was behind Rubens Barrichello and even though I had better pace than the Honda, I couldn't get past. That was pretty much my story for the whole race and with so few retirements, 13th was the best I could do.
Q: How was the battle with Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren?
TG: I enjoyed that. He had a quicker car but we were racing for position and I wasn't about to give up. He overtook me once and I got him back. It was a bit like the GP2 fight I had with Lewis Hamilton at Istanbul. I wasn't going to make it easy for him!
Q: In Turkey it was cooler than anticipated. Did that cause any issues?
TG: Actually there was no problem. In the past, Formula One went to Turkey in August when it was very hot and this time it was May and cooler, but the race tyre choices were still the hard and medium tyres. I think that is because the right front tyre takes such a lot of load in Turn Eight that you cannot go too soft on the compound. Everyone was struggling a little bit with the option tyres, with graining and grip problems. It improved as more rubber went down and we got it right for the qualifying.
Q: Was it hard to find a good compromise between stopping the car bottoming out in the fast Turn Eight and running it low enough for the rest of the lap?
TG: We found a pretty good compromise and my car was consistent through Turn Eight but I did see a lot of cars struggling there, especially with the different fuel loads. I think we did a good job there.
Q: Have you been spending much time at the factory in Cologne?
TG: Yes. It's important for me to be in Cologne working with the team as closely as possible. I have a flat there just five minutes away from the company. It's good for the team to have the driver there to talk things through with and help develop the car. It's hard work and it's so involved that sometimes you think you can't analyse everything. It can be difficult for a driver to keep up with the technical side but it's a learning process and ultimately it's all about experience.
Q: How much are you looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix?
TG: I love racing there even if it is very punishing to any mistakes. I particularly enjoyed my GP2 races there and the 2006 race was actually quite a pivotal moment in my career. I started 17th and got all the way up to fourth before I had to stop with a gearbox problem. It was a key moment because the iSport team boss Paul Jackson was watching the race as his two drivers were out. He was at the Swimming Pool area and he realised I was doing very well in a car that was not perfectly set up. When he had trouble with one of his drivers later, he gave me the chance and I took it. I'm looking forward to trying to get the best out of the TF108 around the streets.