Exclusive interview with Timo Glock
3 October 2013 – Just under a year ago, Timo Glock was forced out of Formula 1 when Marussia made clear its financial troubles. Since then, the 31-year-old German has been ploughing his trade in Germany's DTM series, after being given a lifeline by BMW. GPUpdate.net sat down with him to discuss the latest chapter of his racing career.
Firstly Timo, what are the biggest differences between F1 and DTM machinery?
The biggest difference is you have half the weight in an F1 car. You have tonnes more downforce and more grip with the tyres. The driving style is so different; you can attack the corners under braking very aggressively in F1, but you can't do that in DTM. You need to be very gentle on brakes and very gentle with braking and turning in, you can't do both at the same time like in F1. You arrive in corners 50 to 60 km/h slower and you need to brake earlier. Arriving in a corner and braking even earlier, when you are so slow, is difficult if you have been in an F1 car for five, six years.
Is further testing time an area of discussion in DTM as well?
I'm always saying that I want more tests and more time in the car. But the regulations are what they are. It's tough to drive against guys who have a lot of experience like Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk. In the past F1 drivers have shown that is very difficult to step back from an F1 car into a DTM car, as the driving style is so different.
Your best result so far is third at the Red Bull Ring. What is it about that track?
I don't know! I was very quick there when I competed in Formula 3, winning races. I just like the track and it suited our car very well. I struggled there in qualifying but I had really good pace in the race. I was almost the quickest car in the field most of the time. I was just happy to be on the podium; it was great for the team, BMW and especially for me, to come into the championship and be on the podium in the third race.
What is your general feeling on the season so far?
We have had a lot of ups and downs from our side as a team, but we are brand new team so that's totally normal. Overall I'm happy with it. Unfortunately the next round at Hockenheim is already the last race; the season went by far too quickly! We need some more races and we need some more testing and that's what I'm pushing for.
As we approach 2014, what are your plans?
I have a long term contract with BMW. Hopefully we can improve step-by-step and make the car better for next year and then consistently fight for top-five positions.
Can you imagine a return to Formula 1?
At the moment I don't really think about it, because it is too far away. F1 is in a pretty difficult situation with the small teams struggling with their budgets. If one of the top teams comes up and wants me to drive for them then I would think about it, although I would need to talk to BMW first. In general I'm concentrating on my job and looking forward to my future with BMW.
Do you think your former Marussia team can keep 10th in the standings?
Yeah, last year we were 10th until the last race. Unfortunately we lost it at the last moment. I hope they can stay ahead this year, even if it looks like Caterham is slightly quicker at the moment. Caterham need a chaotic race like Brazil last year to beat Marussia. It would be good for the team to keep 10th and to get some money.
The break-up with Marussia seemed pretty painless. Would you agree?
Yeah, absolutely. If you drive for such a small team, a team that is fighting every year for its budget, you automatically think about the future and what happens if the team runs out of budget. I didn't have a problem with it. We were very open about that to each other. The team came up to me and said, 'listen, we don't have enough money and we can't keep you.' So I said, 'OK, then we need to find a way to split.' And that's what we did. Thanks to Jens Marquardt of BMW, I had a chance to join this team.