F1 Fanatic spoke exclusively to Virgin driver Timo Glock ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Here’s what he had to say about his team’s closely-fought battle with Lotus, racing with Fernando Alonso in Monaco, and those pesky blue flags.
F1 Fanatic: What’s your expectation for this weekend? Any new parts on the car?
Timo Glock: The car is slightly updated for this race. I think we will go better here, the track should suit our car. We seem to do better in the high-speed corners at the moment.
The new car is a little step forward, it’s not massive. We need to take bigger steps to close the gap to the others.
F1F: Lotus brought a big step to their car at Barcelona but you seem to have stayed in touch with them.
TG: Yes, I think so. In Monaco we looked quite good, we were close in practice.
F1F: Since the last race we’ve seen what Toyota’s F1 car for this year looked like. Should Virgin have tried to acquire that car for their programme this year?
We wouldn’t have been able to buy it. By the time Toyota pulled out we had already homologated our chassis. So there was not even a chance to buy it.
Because they pulled out so late, for us it was not possible to use their car.
F1F: A lot of people talk about turn eight here, it sounds like you think your car should take it well?
TG: At low fuel it’s nothing special, we should be able to go through it flat out. But it won’t be at full fuel at the start of the race.
Depending on where we are with the set-up, at some point during the race we’ll start to take it flat out.
F1F: Tony Fernandes has said he thinks the blue flag rule should be changed so the new teams don’t lose so much time letting the leaders past. Do you agree?
TG: It’s definitely not easy in the races to let the leaders by. At Barcelona it was quite difficult and cost us a lot of time.
But I think we have to keep the blue flags. With the speed we’ve got we’d just hold them up otherwise.
F1F: Unusually, you had a Ferrari racing you for position at Monaco. Did you let Alonso by?
TG: I was more focussed on my race with Heikki [Kovalainen]. If I’d spent time fighting Fernando it would have affected my race too much. Lotus are the only team we can really fight at the moment.
I could have blocked him and moved across but it would have spoiled my race too much.
F1F: With none of the other new cars finishing in Monaco was that race a missed opportunity?
TG: Yes but things are like they are at the moment. We have to focus on improving our reliability.
There’s a lot of little problems to get on top of. But we are making progress.
F1F: And how are you finding life with your new team mate?
TG: Me and Lucas get on quite well. We already know each other from GP2.
We don’t see much of each other outside of race weekends except at the team’s simulator sometimes.
Image (C) Virgin Racing