Despite speculation swirling around regarding his future, Timo Glock has insisted that he is satisfied with the way F1 2010 newcomer Virgin Racing has 'really started to turn things around' in recent races and 'made very good progress with the development of the car'.
Having notched up as many DNFs as he has chequered flags this year to-date – and the best of those finishes being a lowly 16th place in the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring last time out – there were paddock rumours that the German's patience with Virgin was beginning to run out [see separate story – click here
], particularly given that having started the campaign as the fastest of the new teams but lacking reliability, the Richard Branson-spearheaded outfit is now no longer as quick as Lotus yet is still struggling to finish races.
There has also been along the way the very public embarrassment when it emerged that the VR-01's fuel tank was not actually big enough to complete a race distance at full speed – but whilst the three podium finishes he tallied for previous employer Toyota in 2009 must now seem little more than a distant memory, Glock is adamant that he was never under any illusions as to the size of the task that lay ahead of Virgin.
“Our debut season has been a big challenge,” the 28-year-old reflected on his personal website, “but I always knew this would be the case when I joined the team. The start of the year in particular was quite difficult, but since then we have really started to turn things around and since the middle of the season we have made very good progress with the development of the car.”
Trying as many of the races have undeniably been for the veteran of 47 grand prix starts, Glock contends that he has been buoyed by the steady-but-sure improvements that have been made of late – in Budapest, for example, the Lindenfels native edged out both Lotus' in qualifying, even if he finished behind them on race day – and that should that trend be maintained to the end of the season, he is confident of 'bigger steps' still in 2011, and concedes that he will likely not be casting his sights elsewhere.
“For the last three or four races we have brought new developments to the car at every race, which have translated immediately from the simulator to the track and that has been very encouraging to see,” he stated. “Our digital approach means we can also continue with the development of this year's car right up until the end of the season, as well as working on next year's car.
“If development stopped or we didn't keep moving forward, then like any driver I would become frustrated, but so far this is not the case. We are improving all the time now, but there are also bigger steps we have to take in the future. I have a long-term contract with Virgin Racing and I'm fully committed to the team moving forward. We have what it takes to fight to continue to achieve our objectives for this season and in the future.”