Q&A with Toyota's Timo Glock 07 Apr 2009
The rain may have brought the Malaysian Grand Prix to a premature end, but Toyotas Timo Glock left Sepang with a spring in his step, after scoring the second podium of his Formula One career. Here Glock reflects on Sundays wet and wild race and looks ahead to the forthcoming Chinese event
Q: You started the race and finished the race in third, but it wasn't as simple as that was it?
Timo Glock: Absolutely not. It was a really tricky race, especially from a strategy point of view and then when the rain really came down it was impossible to drive in those conditions. For me it was really action-packed and a lot of fun. I lost some places at the first corner but on the intermediate tyres I was the fastest guy on the track so I overtook plenty of cars and then I was fighting right at the front. It was pretty unbelievable.
Q: What happened at the start?
TG: I had a lot of wheel spin so I was quite slow pulling away. Then as I was preparing for the first corner I looked to my left and suddenly Fernando (Alonso) and Kimi (Raikkonen) were there; I couldn't believe it! That meant I was on the outside for turn one and it was really tricky just to get around without damaging my front wing. So by the end of the first lap I was eighth which was really frustrating and I thought it had destroyed my chances of being on the podium. I was in a group of cars stuck behind Fernando, with Mark (Webber) directly in front. I was quite a lot quicker but I just couldn't get close enough to overtake. I tried once but damaged my front wing; I lost a bit of my endplate but in the end it didn't make much difference in terms of performance.
Q: What were you thinking when the rain started?
TG: I could see the black clouds coming towards the track after five or six laps so I was asking my engineer when the rain would start. It started but not as heavy as maybe other people were expecting. The team left the tyre decision to me and I decided to go for it and take the risk of putting intermediate tyres on because it wasn't raining so much at that stage. I knew a lot of other guys were on the wet tyres so it was a risk but I thought it was worth it.
Q: How was it on intermediates at that stage?
TG: It was definitely the right call because I was the quickest car out there for quite a few laps. After my pit stop I was out of the top 10 but the intermediates were clearly the best tyres for those conditions and I was a lot faster than the guys on wets. My tyres were going off but the team kept telling me I was the fastest guy on the track so I kept pushing and overtaking people. In just a few laps I went from being outside the top 10 to running second; it was amazing and very exciting but eventually the tyres really did go off so I had to come in to change to the wets.
Q: What was it like driving in the heavy rain?
TG: It was more like swimming to be honest! Even when we were driving behind the safety car it was nearly impossible because the cars were just sliding everywhere; there was so much water. It was a confusing situation with everyone pitting and some cars spinning; at one stage I thought I was leading the race but then Jenson Button came out of the pits just ahead of me. Then when the red flags came out I was in second but when I went to the podium I was third!
Q: Are you happy with third?
TG: I'm definitely happy with third and my second podium in Formula One. It's a great result and I have to thank the team because everyone at the track and at the factory has worked really hard over the winter and this is the result. We have finished on the podium in both races so far and we have deserved to be there; our car is really quick and everyone is doing a good job. We have shown what we
are capable of so now we have to keep pushing hard and we can continue to be one of the top teams this season.
Q: What are your expectations for the next race?
TG: We are second in the constructors' championship and we have had both cars in the top four in both races so far this season so our aim has to be to finish on the podium again in China. I was in the points in China last year but now our car is much more competitive; it is more stable, you can push more as a driver and it is obviously faster relative to the competition. I'm really looking forward to it.