Timo Glock has finally achieved his aim of returning to a Formula One race seat, having been confirmed in one of Panasonic Toyota Racing's two seats for 2008.

The subject of interest from a number of teams following his 2007 GP2 Series title success, the 25-year old German had to wait for the Contracts Recognition Board and BMW Sauber to accede to his move to Toyota, but was finally confirmed on Monday [19 November]. The two teams are now expected to hammer out a deal for an early release from his BMW contract that would allow Glock to test with his new employer at Jerez over 4-6 December.

"It's a great feeling to be an F1 race driver again and I am really looking forward to this new challenge," Glock admitted, "To return to F1 racing as GP2 Series champion is a real honour - we've all seen how well Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have performed as champions, so that is very encouraging. I hope I can make a strong impression next season."

Although he first tasted life as an F1 driver back in 2004 - when he scored points on debut for Jordan in Canada after standing in for Giorgio Pantano and then made three further appearances after the contractually-troubled Italian was released later in the season - Glock has had to enduring a meandering road back to the top flight, taking in Champ Car as well as GP2.

Unable to find an F1 seat on the back of his Jordan outings, he opted to try his luck in the United States, taking the rookie of the year title with Rocketsports in 2005 and making himself a viable target for several other teams the following season. However, doubting that racing in the US for a second season would open doors in F1, he decided to take a relative step backwards and put his career on the line by running in the highly-competitive GP2 Series.

Initially, the move appeared to be a disastrous one, as the BCN Competicion team failed to provide a front-running car, but Glock jumped at the chance to replace Tristan Gommendy at iSport International and never looked back. Having rivalled the highly-rated Ernesto Viso through the second half of the 2006 season, eventually claiming third in the standings behind Hamilton and Nelson Piquet Jr, Glock made himself iSport's main man for 2007 and, despite making hard work of the season, eventually took a well-deserved title, paving the way to Toyota's Cologne base.

"I have worked hard over the past few years to get this opportunity, and I must say I am grateful to Panasonic Toyota Racing for having faith in me," he commented, "I have been lucky enough to race and succeed in several different championships in my career, but my goal has always been to become a full-time F1 race driver. I believe this experience has made me stronger as a driver and as a person.

"Even though I have not raced in F1 since 2004, I have tested quite regularly, so I expect it will take very little time for me to get back in the groove. My next target is to work towards making 2008 a successful season for myself and Toyota. From what I have seen of the team at the track, I am confident that we will be able to work well together to move forward."

 

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