Timo Glock Q&A: Virgin aiming to beat Lotus 13 Mar 2010
At the last test session in Barcelona, Virgins Timo Glock correctly predicted that Saturday afternoon in Bahrain would be a short affair for him. But while Glock failed to make it through to Q2, he at least ended the season's opening qualifying session as the fastest runner from this years trio of new teams
Q: How was Saturday practice for you?
Timo Glock: We had two very rough nights for the mechanics, and so one mechanic did not fix the front-left wheel properly. So when I went out it started shaking and just fell off. It shouldnt happen, but after a couple of tough weeks and nights everyone is quite exhausted. It did happen, and hopefully it wont happen again. We were lucky and we could fix this quite quickly, and I had the chance to go out again. I have to say that I was very happy with the car and it didnt feel too bad. I had a couple of good runs in practice this morning.
Q: Is the result in qualifying what we should expect from you this season?
TG: There were a couple of people saying that it should feel quite disappointing to only be P19, but we cannot expect more. For me this is clearly the best result we could have achieved. I was really surprised that we were only 1.7 seconds off Toro Rosso. I think it is quite good, as during the winter tests it did look much more. So P19 was the best we could do, considering that we havent had much running throughout this weekend. In free practice we had some good runs on both of the tyre types. But then we suddenly had some problems with the option tyres on the first run, and we decided to do some runs on the prime tyres, but even on them we were quicker than Lotus on option tyres. That was quite good for us, and I think a proper run on option tyres would have possibly even got us a little step further. This morning we already did a low 1m 59s run, and I thought that we could do a 1m 58.7s in qualifying, but this did not work out. But still we were the quickest of the new teams, and that was very good for us. Now I can relax a bit for tomorrow.
Q: How easy or hard is it to drive the Virgin?
TG: It is definitely harder than my car last year. We still have a lot of mechanical issues to solve, and there will still be a lot of updates coming in the future. It is still a bit difficult to control the car when going over bumps. But these are only our first steps, and things will change over time.
Q: How is the engine behaving compared to the Toyota engine you used last year?
TG: The engine behaves pretty well, and is very much spot on. Especially when we went into qualifying we got a lot out of the engine, and I was really positively surprised about its power and its driveability. I am really happy about the engine and Cosworth have done a good job.
Q: Of the new teams, which one do you consider is your closest competitor?
TG: Of course I have to say Lotus, as HRT had no testing time at all. In this respect they did quite well, without any time on the track. Lotus, on the other hand, have many experienced personnel. For us, Lotus is the team to keep an eye on. We have to make some improvements to be able to try to stay in front of them.
Q: How does the car feel with a lot of fuel on board?
TG: I have to say that it makes a very big difference. Especially for us, as we do not have so much downforce, and this will then result in us being quite a bit slower than the other teams. It is really surprising how much slower you need to go. It makes a big difference to the driving style between qualifying and the race. A weak point of the car is the level of downforce in low-speed corners. We have to make a lot of improvement in braking and turning. At high speed we are not too bad I think.
Q: One of the big challenges for this year will be tyre conservation. Will you manage your tyres well?
TG: We have not had the chance to do a proper long run, so this will clearly be a challenge for tomorrow and we have to watch our tyres.