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.