Confidence is a pre-requisite for an F1 driver, and Timo Glock showed that he has lost none of his despite being marooned at the rear of the grid by claiming to be the equal of double world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Speaking in an interview ahead of his maiden appearance at the Race of Champions in his native Germany, the Marussia Virgin Racing driver insisted that he would give his Red Bull rival a run for his money if he was gifted similar machinery.
“I know I'm just as good as Seb," he told Kolner Express
, "If we were both sitting in a Red Bull, only the form of the day would make the difference."
With the RoC pitting drivers against each other in the same cars, Glock, who competes for Team Germany 2 alongside double DTM champion Timo Scheider while Vettel partners seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher in the all-conquering first team, admits that he hopes to get the chance to prove his point in Dusseldorf.
“I'm very curious to see how the comparison pans out,” he smiled.
Having spent the past two seasons helping establish the Virgin Racing team as a credible F1 entry, many expected Glock to look to move back up the grid for 2012. However, with a dearth of viable alternatives, with the possible exception of joining an already-crowded waiting room at Lotus Renault, he opted to sign a 'long-term' deal with his current employer, with the view to helping it move away from the back of the grid.
“It's quite funny,” the 29-year old explained, “I recently sat with an old Toyota mechanic and he asked me how I can stay motivated because we were fighting for the podium and now I'm fighting for 20th place.
“It's simply this - when I get into the car, I'm always motivated. Even when it's for the wooden spoon, I just fight until the last metre.
"Unfortunately, I'm not [running] behind Sebastian, but against Lotus, [so] my motivation is to keep the distance to [them] as small as possible. The smaller the distance to Lotus, the better I succeeded on my qualifying lap. My motivation is get this perfect lap, because our car is a bit difficult to drive.
"In Valencia, I was on grid 21, but that was a 110-per cent effort. At Silverstone, I [out-qualified Jarno] Trulli and [started ahead if Karun] Chandhok at the Nurburgring. That's why I'm happy."
There has been a lot going on behind the scenes at Virgin, which will be renamed Marussia Racing for 2012, with the ousting of designer Nick Wirth, a relocation to Banbury and a technical partnership forged with one of the strongest teams on the grid - all of which has given Glock cause for optimism.
"We now have a partnership with McLaren, which I think will bring the necessary step forward," he concluded, "McLaren stands for world championship titles, victories - which shows what the goal is for our team...."