After impressing many over the course of his maiden full season of Formula 1 competition, Timo Glock has promised to do even better in 2009 - when he hopes Toyota will suffer fewer 'cold spells'.

The German overcame a trying start to the campaign - failing to register any points at all for the first six races, whilst team-mate Jarno Trulli tallied nine - to get his challenge firmly on-track in the Canadian Grand Prix with a strong fourth place finish, and indeed over the second half of the campaign he actually out-scored the experienced Italian 18 points to eleven.

That saw Glock end proceedings with 25 points to his name - beating his pre-season goal by a quarter - just one spot behind Trulli in the drivers' standings in tenth, and with former triple F1 World Champion Niki Lauda enthusiastically singing his praises as the 'best rookie so far'.

"I am really happy," acknowledged the 26-year-old in an interview with the official Formula 1 website. Glock had previously participated in four races for Jordan back in 2004, becoming one of the elite group of drivers to have scored on their grand prix debut, also in Montreal.

"To exceed my target of 20 points and finish on the podium in my first full season of Formula 1 is a great achievement. I have worked well with the engineers, with the mechanics and with Jarno, so I have a very positive feeling in the team.

"The first four races were quite difficult and I wasn't sure if I could make my target. In F1 it is difficult to change the car from one race to another; it takes some time until you get the car working in your direction, and that was even tougher because it was my first full season of racing in F1.

"I had to develop myself a bit as well and that takes a bit of time, but after Canada things turned around for me. I got even more integrated into the team, we developed the car together and we were quite strong. I made a good step at Hockenheim, where our race pace was strong, and from then on I was competitive everywhere."

Indeed he was, and Glock made full use of his increased confidence to qualify five times inside the top ten over the final eight outings, with the undoubted highlight fifth spot in the grid in the Hungarian Grand Prix - what he would superbly convert into his first-ever rostrum finish. From that point onwards, he proved to be every bit a match for Trulli, particularly on race day.

"Budapest was really special," the 2007 GP2 Series Champion reflected, "and to finish on the podium in my first full season of Formula 1 was just great. Of course I [had] hoped to do that, but it was an incredible feeling when I achieved it, so I will always remember that day.

"Jarno is so experienced in Formula 1 and it was just my first season, so I expected to be playing catch-up in the first few races. The important thing for me is that in the second half of the season we were evenly-matched and from Hungary onwards I actually scored more points than him, so I am very pleased. We have worked really well together and have a great relationship, so I think we have helped the team improve quite a lot this season."

That much is indisputable, and even if the big-budget Japanese outfit ultimately came up short in its bid to resist Renault's threat for the coveted fourth spot in the constructors' rankings - one that for much of the campaign Toyota had made its own, but which it surrendered late on, partly as a legacy of the TF108's poor performance in cold and damp conditions - Glock is adamant that the Cologne-based outfit is now firmly back on-track again following its 2006-07 slump.

"The TF108 has been very competitive pretty much everywhere," he underlined, "but the one issue we had was in cold conditions, when we couldn't get the best out of the tyres. This hurt us in Italy and Belgium in particular. Our reliability has been pretty good, but we aim for 100 per cent reliability and we know that we lost points on a few occasions because of technical problems that led to retirements.

"During the season it was clear we had a good chance to finish fourth in the constructors' championship - and that became our target for the final races. We were beaten by Renault who were really strong at the end, so we are not happy with that aspect of our season, but you will see happy faces in Cologne, firstly because we are always optimistic and secondly because the results this season have been such a significant improvement on 2007.

"In general, I think our development was pretty good throughout the season, especially when you consider the package we introduced at Magny-Cours. From that moment we moved up a level and we were fighting with the top teams regularly, scoring podiums and a lot of points. We made a good step with our last upgrades towards the end of the season, but so did Renault.

"The target was to return to the podium and score a significant number of points. Considering our 2007 results, these were quite high targets, but we achieved them and that is thanks to the hard work of everyone at the team.

"Formula 1 never stops, so we are already thinking about 2009. The team has been working hard developing the TF109 and I am really excited to see how that turns out. We have some winter testing coming up so there is not a long break, but we are pushing as hard as possible - we won't be relaxing just because we have finished this season.

"There is such huge potential at this team. We have a competitive budget and we have a lot of really good people, so I really believe we can achieve great things."


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