Timo Glock to drive Manor GP 2010

Timo Glock to drive Manor GP 2010

Timo Glock will drive for the Manor Grand Prix team in 2010 after becoming the first driver to sign for the new entrant’s debut Formula 1 season.

The German ace had spent the last two years with Toyota but was thought unlikely to stay at the Cologne-based operation into 2010 even before the Japanese manufacturer pulled out of the sport earlier this month.

But while a switch to Renault alongside Robert Kubica initially looked on the cards, the 27-year-old’s manager revealed last week that they were in serious talks with the British-based Manor outfit.

On Tuesday morning Glock announced on his website that a deal – reportedly for an initial two-year period with an option for a further year – had now been completed and acknowledged that to some it might seem like a risky move.

However, he says he has decided to join the team as he will be able to play an integral role in helping develop both the squad and the car – adding that the fact the team’s first challenger is being designed by former Benetton and Simtek man Nick Wirth was a big selling point.

“It might seem like a brave step,” Glock said in a statement.

“But there are many good reasons to join this team.
“For me as a driver, for example, it was important that I was assured I would be involved in the development of the team and the car.

“The car is being designed by Nick Wirth.

“That was another argument in the team’s favour as far as I was concerned.

“Nick Wirth has a lot of race car design experience and a very good reputation.

“You only need to look at the Acura ARX-02a to see what he and his team can do. That prototype was immediately successful in the American Le Mans Series despite not spending a single hour in a wind tunnel. It is a sensational car!”

The German driver’s manager Hans-Bernd Kamps revealed last week that Manor was one of three options open to his driver for next season.

Glock says he was immediately on the same page as the team’s management during their discussions and, with his Toyota career now over, he is looking forward to a “great challenge”.

“When Nick and his colleagues John Booth and Graeme Lowdon talked to me, we were on the same wavelength straight away,“ Glock added.

“They really wanted to have me on board to help develop the car.“

“With a year left on the Toyota contract, we originally had other plans and were aiming to really compete for the world championship with the team.

”Now, for obvious reasons, that is not going to happen. Ahead of me now is a great challenge. And I’m really looking forward to it!”

Technical director Wirth says it was always the team’s aim to hire at least one seasoned Formula 1 pro, so is therefore delighted to have secured the services of a multiple grand prix podium finisher in Glock.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Timo has chosen to drive for our team,” Wirth said in a statement issued by the team.

“It has always been my recommendation that we have at least one driver with experience of the 2009 cars to help our development programme, but to get a driver that has not only achieved podium finishes in 2009 but has such proven talent and the potential to take us forward for many years is very exciting.

“The fact that he has come and seen all aspects of the project before making his decision speaks volumes about what we have achieved so far.”

Manor will be Glock’s third Formula 1 team, the German having made his debut in the sport back in 2004 with Jordan when, as the team’s third driver, he stood in for regular race driver Giorgio Pantano at the Canadian Grand Prix, scoring two points on his debut.

After Pantano was then axed by the team later in the year, Glock replaced him for the final three grands prix – but the then 22-year-old couldn’t find a drive to keep him in the sport for the following season and switched to the US-based Champ Car series where he won rookie of the year honours.

Glock returned to Europe in 2006 to compete in F1’s feeder series GP2 and after winning the title in his second season, he was signed by Toyota as replacement for countryman Ralf Schumacher alongside Jarno Trulli.

The German claimed his first F1 podium finish with second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix in the summer of 2008 and finished 10th in the overall standings.

He added two more podium finishes this year before his campaign was cut three races short after he injured his back in a qualifying accident in Japan.

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