On the Outside Looking In: Timo Glock

There was never any doubt Timo Glock would be returning to Marussia for a fourth season in 2013.  None at all.  At least thats what it appeared.  However, the popular and very talented German finds himself out of Formula 1 all together, and has found a new home in the German Touring Car series.  He is the latest driver to be ousted from a drive in F1 due to his team requiring additional finances from their drivers to compete.

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Timo Glock made his Formula 1 debut for the Jordan Ford team back at the Canadian Grand Prix when regular full time driver Giorgio Pantano had issues with his funding, which is ironic in itself.  Glock finished 11th on the road but was promoted to 7th when both Williams cars and both Toyota cars were disqualified ahead of him.  It was even greater of an achievement when he finished ahead of regular driver Nick Heidfeld.  Glock would return to F1 for the final three races of the season when Pantano finally left the team.  However, it would not lead to an F1 drive for 2005.

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He decided to skip across the Atlantic and race for a year in the Champ Car series, finishing once on the podium on route to 8th in the championship.  He returned to Europe in 2006 and joined first BCN Competition and then iSport International.  He won 2 races on route to 4th in the standings, before continuing with iSport in 2007, winning five races and the championship.  He was also test driver for the BMW Sauber team.

2008 saw him finally make his full-time debut in F1, driving for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team. He spent two years at the team, finishing on the podium three times, finishing 10th both seasons.  His career high result was 2nd in the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix, a race before a qualifying crash ended his season and his Toyota career.

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He moved onto the newly formed Virgin Racing team for 2010, becoming team leader for the first time alongside Brazilian debutant Lucas di Grassi.  However the team came into F1 under-prepared, and suffered accordingly, coming last in the championship, and Glock came 25th out of 28.  It wasn’t much better in 2011 alongside Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio, again finishing 25th.  2012 was much better, with Frenchman Charles Pic as his third teammate in three years, though it still didn’t bring him nor his team any points, a 12th place finish in Singapore his highlight.

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When Pic lost 12th place in Brazil to Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov, it cost Marussia 10th in the constructors championship, and at the same time it cost the team millions of pounds worth of revenue.  This ultimately looks like it has cost Glock his job as the team requires pay drivers.  Its a shame as Timo has long been regarded as a good driver, and now he’s a DTM driver instead.

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Its a shame that money dictates Formula 1.  The lesser teams require more and more, drivers who are both talented behind the wheel AND with a hefty backing or sponsorship package.  Unfortunately Glock has the first but not the second.  Its a shame that a podium finisher and a potential champion has left the sport.  Will he be back? Who knows.  Maybe, maybe not.

F1’s loss is DTM’s gain.

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