Timo Glock insists that his Virgin Racing team can continue to challenge rival newcomer Lotus as the 2010 Formula One season moves into its second half at Hockenheim.
The German split Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli in qualifying at Silverstone and provided their biggest opposition in the subsequent British Grand Prix, before finishing third in the newcomer 'division'. Although he has yet to better 18th this season - rookie team-mate Lucas di Grassi has a 14th-place finish dating from the Malaysian GP in April - Glock insists that the remaining races will see Virgin gradually improve its performance, having spent the first half of the season troubleshooting its VR-01.
"I think Silverstone showed the aero update worked quite well and we had, I would say, a second aero update in Silverstone," he claimed, "It doesn't show in the results as we are still in the same position, but we were much closer to Lotus. We could race against them in Silverstone and, for [the German GP], we should have another little update in terms of an aero package which will bring us another little step forward again, so that's positive.
"It goes in the right direction. The first half of the year was tough to sort out all the problems but, now it is becoming a more focused direction in putting performance on the car."
Glock, who is again being linked to a possible move to Renault as team-mate to Robert Kubica for 2011, will be racing on home soil this weekend, and is hoping to have a good result to reward what he expects to be a large crowd.
“I'm really looking forward to my home grand prix at Hockenheim, which is around 30 minutes from my front door, so it really
is a home race for me," he noted, "It is especially good that this race comes just two weeks after the team's home debut at Silverstone, so this will be the second race in a row where we will experience a lot of support from the fans, as this always helps to boost everyone just that little bit more.
"I raced here a lot in the junior formulae when I was starting out in my career, and it has a lot of very special memories for me. With so many German drivers competing in F1 this year - six in total - the feeling we will get from the crowd will be incredible, I'm sure. It goes without saying that I aim to achieve the best result possible and, with the progress we have made in terms of the mechanical and aero upgrades to the car over the last two races, I am feeling optimistic.”
Technical director Nick Wirth shares Glock's optimism after Silverstone, and confirmed that the team back at base in the UK was continuing to develop updates for the CFD-inspired VR-01.
“The successful delivery of the step in performance that we demonstrated in Silverstone has lifted everyone involved with Virgin Racing and, since then, the aero group has been working hard on developing the car, so we'll be adding a host of new aero parts to both cars as we deploy yet more of our digitally-developed downforce," he commented.
"In particular, we were delighted at Timo's positive reaction to our Silverstone upgrade, and we all hope that this next step will make this a happy home race for him in front of the fantastic German fans. The track itself has different chassis requirements to those of Silverstone, but we're confident of demonstrating more progress. The difference in dry tyre compounds will be a challenge to deal with, and also it looks like we may have the fun of wet conditions thrown in so, all in all, we have plenty to look forward to in our first German Grand Prix.”