F1 » 30 January 2013
Glock: Too bad that F1 needs pay drivers
Ousted Marussia driver Timo Glock believes that it is a sad state of affairs that forces F1 to employ drivers on the basis of how much money they can bring.
Timo Glock has possibly been more in demand since his departure from F1 than he was while in its ranks, but also appears to have more to say.
In a series of interviews since his abrupt departure from the Marussia team last week, the German has reflected on his time in the top flight, the moment he realised it may be over for him and the new opportunity that lies ahead with BMW, and now turns his attention to the changing face of F1 as teams become more reliant on drivers that can bring money as well as a modicum of ability behind the wheel.
Speaking with Speed Week, the former Toyota driver admitted that life in F1's cellar had been harder than he had envisaged, before criticising the way in which the sport handles its prize structure. With only the top ten teams in the constructors' championship receiving financial rewards, Marussia was left on the outside looking in for each of its three seasons, painfully so in 2012 after Charles Pic was passed by Caterham's Vitaly Petrov for eleventh place at Interlagos, allowing the Leafield team to snatch back the lucrative championship position.
“The top teams get a lot of money from Bernie Ecclestone, starving the small teams a little bit,” Glock opined, echoing Caterham's Mike Gascoyne, who suggested the Crash.net that perhaps the system needed to be changed to help the minnows at the back of the field, “Last year, we showed that we can make a step forward, and found more than 1.5 seconds, but, in order to make the big step, you need double the budget.”
With Pic heading for Caterham in 2013, Marussia signed up Max Chilton to partner Glock, a move viewed by many as a means of accessing the Briton's family backing. It clearly wasn't enough for the Brackley equipe, however, as Glock was then moved on in order to create a vacancy for what is expected to be another better-financed driver.
“Finding partners to improve the budget is increasingly difficult,” the 30-year old, who is rumoured to have received severance pay, continued, "There have always been pay drivers and, while I won't say that they have no talent - Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez have proved that you can have good partners behind you and drive fast as well – but it's too bad that F1 is increasingly developing in this direction.”
While Glock has landed on his feet with a multi-year BMW deal to race in the DTM, others like Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi look set to spend the year on the sidelines having failed to produce the sort of backing that teams were looking for. Meanwhile, candidates such as Giedo van der Garde and Luiz Razia join Petrov, Bruno Senna and Jaime Alguersuari in hoping to get the call to race at the tail-end of the field....
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