Having previously confessed to having held discussions with an existing team before agreeing terms with F1 2010 newcomer Virgin Racing for the year ahead [see separate story – click here
], Timo Glock has now revealed that he in fact entered into negotiations with a number of leading outfits prior to taking the plunge with Richard Branson's boys.
It was widely-rumoured at the time that, having already made up his mind to leave his employer of two years Toyota, Glock was close to a deal with Renault for the forthcoming campaign – his third full season at the highest level – but he has since admitted that there were similar talks with Sauber, as well as with other undisclosed teams, all of which he was unconvinced by due to overriding uncertainties.
“With Renault it was not exactly clear what their future would look like,” the Lindenfels native told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport
, alluding to the Enstone outfit's subsequent 75 per cent sale to Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital. “Even with Sauber, everything was open. We often talked, but they could not tell me any details. I had contact with some other top teams, but it was very vague. I wanted to make my decision, and I liked the Virgin project very much.”
Indeed, of the four new entrants set to swell the field for the 2010 curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir, the ex-Manor Grand Prix operation arguably looks to be in the best shape to succeed. Glock affirmed that rivals 'may be a little surprised that, as a new team, we have been quite aggressive' with the first car, which is due to be shaken down at Silverstone on 4 and 5 February, before being flown out to join the remainder of the group winter testing at Jerez and subsequently Barcelona in Spain.
“We thought about going [to Valencia], but then we opted for Silverstone,” the 27-year-old explained of the decision to skip the opening three-day test session next week. “As a new team we can perform a functional test outside of the official dates. Silverstone is at our front door; if something went wrong at Valencia, we could not react as quickly.”
Meanwhile, both Glock and 2010 Virgin Racing team-mate – and erstwhile GP2 Series title rival – Lucas Di Grassi have hinted that the Cosworth-powered challenger will sport a predominantly black livery for its maiden campaign in the top flight.