Q&A with Toyotas Timo Glock 22 Apr 2009
In just his second full year of Formula One competition, Toyotas Timo Glock is currently fourth in the drivers standing, with the same points tally (10) as Chinese Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel. Glock is certainly happy with his progress and the TF109s performances. Here he reviews his Chinese Grand Prix and looks ahead to this weekends Bahrain race
Q: How do you judge your start to the season?
Timo Glock: It has been a good start to the season for me and the team. From a personal point of view it was really positive to be on the podium in just the second race but it also gave the team consecutive podiums after Jarno's third place in Australia. China was a little disappointing overall but it has been great to start the season with a competitive car which is capable of fighting for podiums. I am happy with my performances; I've scored a lot of points already despite some difficult circumstances and I have to thank the team for that as well because they have worked really hard.
Q: Have you adapted easily to the slick tyres this year?
TG: I definitely have a much better feeling with the slick tyres. Last year one of the main points I had to work on was understanding the grooved tyres because they behave very differently to slicks and I didn't have so much experience of them. For me it has been no problem to move back; I have driven nearly my whole career on slicks so it makes life easier this season. Of course, with the different compounds for each race, it is still a big challenge to get the best out of the tyres but I feel at home on slicks.
Q: Are you happy with seventh place in China?
TG: Before the weekend I would have said no because I was hoping for better. However, considering the problems on Saturday and the fact we started from the pit lane, in the end we have to be happy with two points. I have scored points in all three Grands Prix so far this year which is positive.
Q: What were the conditions like early in the race?
TG: It was really tricky in the first laps. I was at the back of the pack because of the gearbox-change penalty and from there it was almost impossible to see anything as a result of the spray. It was like driving blind; very difficult to see where you were going or just to keep the car on the track. I had a moment with Nick (Heidfeld) when I misjudged my braking point and unfortunately hit the back of his car, damaging my front wing.
Q: Did the damage cause a problem?
TG: It's better not to have damage, that's for sure, and the car didn't feel perfect so we made my pit stop a little earlier than planned. We changed the front wing and I have to say the team did a great job to do it extremely quickly. The front wings are much bigger this year and that makes it harder for the guys to change it, but I know they have practiced a lot over the winter and they were super quick. When I had the new front wing the car immediately felt much better and I could push on to score points.
Q: Was it easier to drive in those conditions out of traffic?
TG: Visibility was a lot better when there wasn't another car in front of you because the spray makes things so difficult. I had a clear run for five or six laps; I was on the pace and looking pretty quick but then I caught Kimi (Raikkonen). I was held up for a while because I couldn't see where the standing water was so I just had to back off for a bit. In the end I got past but it wasn't easy. The main problem is the visibility; you just can't see exactly where to go when you are following another car.
Q: What are your expectations for the Bahrain Grand Prix?
TG: I am optimistic for this race. We tested in Bahrain in the winter so hopefully we can keep going in the right direction at this race and score a lot more points. Generally we need to continue pushing hard to constantly improve. We know the other teams are trying to get better so we need to be concentrated and work as hard as possible. We have to develop at least as fast as the others.