Exclusive - Glock on breaking his duck, and beating Trulli 19 Jun 2008
Since their Formula One debut in 2002, Toyota have been chasing results with mixed success, so getting both cars into the points in Canada - the Japanese teams best race since 2005 - was cause for great cheer. The biggest surprise in Montreal was that Timo Glock outran not only team mate Jarno Trulli, but also Ferraris Felipe Massa. For Glock, who had been struggling to find his footing with Cologne-based Toyota, the boost to his points tally - and self-esteem - was long overdue
Q: Timo, Canada must have been a relief. How big a load was taken off your mind? Im sure you were feeling the pressure of replacing six-time Grand Prix winner Ralf Schumacher
Timo Glock: Canada was a good weekend for the whole team. We had struggled a bit in qualifying with the performance of the car, but in the end, we had a good strategy and were lucky of course that there was that crash in the pit lane. P4 for me was just perfect after all those races where luck had abandoned us, like in Monaco where I made a mistake or Turkey in qualifying. On that Sunday in Montreal everything came together and worked out very well.
Q: That fourth place is also an indication that you have finally arrived in the team. In hindsight what was has been the biggest problem for you in adapting?
TG: The car. It is still not one hundred percent matching my driving style. It is still not easy to drive. It is still on the understeering side and I would prefer a much more neutral car that I can put more in the direction in the middle of a corner, which is not possible at the moment. But we are working very hard around the set-up and I think that we have found a good compromise for me.
Q: Toyota want to see results this year. Leaving Montreal with eight points is the best result for the team in years. Has the fog finally lifted?
TG: Well, we have to wait and see. Between P5 and P8 it is pretty tight, but in the end we have to find a way to take another step to further close the gap and try to establish ourselves as the fourth team behind Ferrari, BMW and McLaren.
Q: Will getting both cars in the points be the standard from now on?
TG: That depends hugely on the track. For example, Williams looked quite strong in Montreal - ok, they were unlucky in the race. Red Bull made quite a big step, as did Renault. We also improved, but probably not enough. When you have eight cars fighting over three positions, realistically its very tough for a team to have both cars in the points. So lets wait and see how this weekend goes.
Q: Your Canada result must be a big boost for your Magny-Cours weekend
TG: Definitely it makes life a bit easier for me - and more enjoyable! Sure, I would want to be in the points again, but those pit-lane crashers will not do me the same favour again in Magny-Cours. Since Montreal there has not been a zero next to my name in the drivers standings and that already did the trick - as did winning the qualifying against Jarno (Trulli).
Q: When you compare yourself to Jarno, do you feel the situation is better balanced now?
TG: I would say that I have closed the gap to him a bit more. But we both still have to work on our qualifying, although that is an area where I would say that he is still a bit more consistent than I am. I am also closing the gap there. Overall I am feeling quite happy at the moment.
Q: You tested for two days last week in Barcelona, whilst Jarno didnt test at all. What was the focus of the Magny-Cours preparation? The TF108 has so far proven excellent reliability-wise, with only one retirement caused by technical problems
TG: Yes, on the reliability side the guys in Cologne did a fantastic job. So in Barcelona we were working to get the car balanced correctly for Magny-Cours and to make it quicker, especially improving the aero side. We didnt carry out any major changes, just bits and pieces in all areas. Lets put it this way: it was a fine-tuning for this race.
Q: The stewards decision in Montreal puts McLarens Lewis Hamilton and Williams Nico Rosberg ten places back on the grid this weekend, so you will probably be faced with two faster guys starting behind you, both willing to do anything to get to the front as quickly as possible. Will that influence your strategy?
TG: No, not really. I will see how the qualifying goes and then we will start to think about the strategy.
Q: This weekend will mark your 12th Grand Prix, so you are still quite a freshman in Formula One racing. Whats a realistic goal for you this season?
TG: Well, being in such an upbeat mood, I would say that finishing with a total balance of 15 to 20 points would be a good result for me. The goal must surely be as close as possible to Jarnos points.