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Glock a contender for Manor seat
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Glock a contender for Manor seat
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Nov 2009   |  10:40 am GMT  |  40 comments

Further to my post yesterday about the new teams, it appears that Timo Glock might have got cold feet about a move to Renault and is considering a drive with the new Manor team.

GLOCK
During the Abu Dhabi weekend the German media was reporting that Glock had signed for Renault, but with no announcement forthcoming and uncertainty still clouding Renault’s long term plans in F1 after their board meeting last week, Glock’s manager, Hans-Bernard Kamps has said that Manor is a real possibility. The other driver in the frame is Lucas di Grassi.

Glock has had a rollercoaster career. He got to F1 with Jordan in 2004, but then had to rebuild his career in the USA and then GP2, before bouncing back into F1 again with Toyota in 2008.

To start again, effectively, building up a new team is not what he would consider ideal, but needs must in these strange times. A driver of Glock’s calibre would give Manor a huge boost and an excellent reference point. On his day he is as fast as Jarno Trulli and is a tenacious racer, as his podium drives in Singapore this year and Hungary last year.

On paper Manor should be one of the better organised of the new teams, with the backing of Virgin, even if the decision Nick Wirth has taken to design the car exclusively using CFD simulation tools, rather than a wind tunnel is a big gamble, which could go either way.

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40 Comments
  1. Any ideas on why he doesn’t want to go to Renault (or why Renault don’t want him)? I think Glock could be one of the best drivers next season – he has shown time and again that he can make a strategy work on a heavy fuel load – something which will be critical next year. Also, who else is in line for the Renault seat?

    1. Lockster says:

      I 100% agree about Glock’s ability to drive a car with a heavy fuel load, it would surely be a talent that would be in demand next year.

    2. John says:

      Well, with Renault’s non-commitment to F1, it is not surprising that he may have a change of opinion. If he signs now and then Renault pulls the plug end of December, he is out of F1.

  2. bleh says:

    I think what makes him especially interesting for a new team is his ability(?) to stand out. I remember a lot more of Glock than Trulli both this year and the last. Half the time his results were spectacular, the other half his crashes were, too.

    If your team is likely to be in the lower half a hit or miss driver is nice to have because he’s more likely to get points than someone who is steady but not as fast at the top of his game.

  3. Alexis says:

    I have no idea what Renault are playing at. Coming out with the unfathomable statement that they ‘may or may not quit’ means sponsors won’t touch them with a barge pole and drivers are wary. The poor people in the factory have no idea if they’ll have jobs after Christmas.

    1. davidturnedge says:

      Expect the team to be bought out by management… although I fancy Renault might like to remain in the sport as an engine supplier… something I think Toyota and BMW should have done…

      1. Rich C says:

        While just suppling engines might be less expensive than having a team, its still all about money for the boards of the big mfgs. And I seriously doubt there’s enough profit margin in engines alone for such a huge company to bother with.

  4. Tom says:

    That would be a shame for Renault, he’d make a great no 2 to keep Kubica on his toes.
    I hope this just means Renault are looking for a different driver, rather than you-know-what.

    Who do you think they’d choose – Kovalainen again? Another new driver like Baguette?

  5. Duncan says:

    I worry about Manor following Nick Wirth’s advice. He’s gifted, but can become too obsessed with theory it seems (look at the failings of his pure-CFD Acura LMP1 this year). I guess we’ll have to wait for testing to see.

    James, Ferrari have rubbished all of the new teams, and you’ve said that it has suited some to attack USF1′s efforts. How good are these new teams though? Are they a collection of the best who had not been in F1, or are any looking to be more of an Andrea Moda type affair?

    1. Ajayrious says:

      I think they may look like Andrea Moda’s by comparisson, but that will only be because the field is so tight nowadays only a second or so in it. Its what hurt Badoer most and will hurt the new teams the same way and make them look worse than they really are.

    2. melonfarmer says:

      I don’t ever recall a 1-2 in the drivers’ standings and constructor’s title in the primary championship (ALMS) being described as a failure before. The performance shortfall was generally due to biased diesel regs and alleged front wings. I look forward to seeing Wirth Research’s efforts.

      1. Duncan says:

        They were 1-2 with no competition (literally). In their meetings with the diesels they were uncompetitive, meaning the ideas Wirth tried in the chassis (such as the wide front tires) didn’t bridge the gap to the diesels as hoped. Within the teams, some felt that the ideas just didn’t work.

        It was a great idea on paper, but in reality, didn’t prove to be quite what was necessary. And that’s what I’d worry about if I were Manor. Will Wirth make another car which is great on paper, but on track doesn’t quite work as expected…

  6. Robert McKay says:

    I can only think he’s worried they’re going to do a Toyota, because for all their difficulties recently I’d much rather drive for them than a start-up effort.

    1. Rich C says:

      Yes, and he must be thinking they’ll do it before next season. Otherwise I’d think a driver would rather have a competitive car for one season than a back-marker for several.

  7. Neil Williams says:

    I do not have the article in front of me so forgive me if I get the author wrong, but Bradley Lord, I think it was, in this weeks Autosport makes a very good point about Renault and there constant “we’ll be in the sport so long as success continues” mantra. One of the reasons Alonso signed for McLaren in 2005 was that he wasn’t sure of Renault’s commitment to the sport. Extrapolate that to the remainder of the staff and that feeling multiplies, undermining the work going on to improve the cars. The following season is a disappointment as a result and so the process starts again. Brawn were also in this situation last December to March and came out of it spectacularly but it was a one off for them with Ross/Nick and the other Directors working frantically to secure the companies future. They had a much better mantra, “You build the car and we’ll save the company”.

    I think Renault’s atitude shows precisely why it is wrong to have manufacturer involvement beyond engine supply. If you can’t have a team that exists to race then you should have no team at all.

  8. Silas Denyer says:

    Re Nick Wirth, IIRC his M.Sc at UMIST was on “the aerodynamics of the internal combustion engine” and majored strongly on numerical modelling; he was hired (by Mosley) to join March the day he graduated.

    It is fair to say, therefore, that if anybody is qualified to say that he thinks the CFD tools are mature enough to do this then it is Wirth.

    Like all expert opinion, of course, he may still be wrong!

  9. Nicollers says:

    This “word on the wire” speaks volumes and Robert Kubica must now be a very worried man. 2 years ago, Glock wouldn’t have thought twice about this and would have penned a deal with Renault. With the current manufacturers’ situation in F1, Timo may feel Manor are a safer bet given he has already been burnt with Toyota quitting the sport.

  10. Lentulus says:

    Timo, go to Manor.
    They’ve got more promise for next year than Renault.

    1. Rich C says:

      Maybe they do for the year after, but not for this next season.

      1. Lentulus says:

        Well seeing as Manor are designing their car in a completely different way to everyone else (a way that Wirth Research have proved themselves at), Renault 3year underperformance, and the possibility/probability that Renault may not even be in F1 next year, then I’d have to say that if it was my choice, I’d go for Manor as they have more promise for 2010 and beyond.

  11. Lustigson says:

    I reckon that, before he signed anything, T. Glock would know if and when Sir Richard will start pouring Virgin money into the team. And with Renault allegedly wanting to pay a maximum of 25% of next year’s budget — i.e. the rest will have to come from outside sponsorship, otherwise they may decide to call it quits — Manor Grand Prix could very well be a better bet than Renault.

    1. James Allen says:

      Branson never ‘pours money’ into things like this. It’s maximum bang for his buck he’s looking for. Virgin’s spend will not be great

  12. Adrian says:

    I might be being cynical here, but does it strike anyone else as odd that Renault are waiting to reveal their F1 future and we are all waiting to see what the outcome of Flavio’s appeal against the FiA ban will be..??

    Is there a link between the 2? Would Renault (or any other team for that matter) want to be associated with Flav after Crashgate?

    James, what do you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      Good point. But remember that the outcome of the Renault internal investigation prior to the hearing was that Briatore et al were guilty and they were dismissed. On the basis of this Renault pleaded guilty. Flav does not appear to be disputing the Renault investigation, only the FIA procedure.

      1. Silas Denyer says:

        With respect, IIRC Renault offered no defence and were, if you like, found guilty by default. It is not quite the same as pleading guilty; it is only that, in the UK, the concept of a “no contest” plea is quite alien, however common it may be in many other parts of the world. In those jurisdictions where this situation is not alien there is a world of difference between the two.

    2. Woffin says:

      Maybe you are onto something Adrian, but for the exact opposite reasons?

      Would you consider it a possibility that if Flavio wins, Renault would pull out from Formula One? After all, they got rid of him in the first place and I am sure they would not like to remain in the sport if he were a free man again…

    3. AJE says:

      Could it be that Ranualt are waiting to see if Flav can buy the team out, if he’s allowed back into F1?

  13. Desal says:

    As a engineering researcher who has done a lot of work in CFD software, the success, or lack of, that will come of the Manor F1 teams approach is something I am watching closely. Although my natural instinct would be to not trust software solely, custom developed code for the purpose of F1 car design may yet proove a successful approach.

    Can’t help but feel if I was in Glocks shoes though I would be pushing to drive the Renault if possible.

    1. Lentulus says:

      There’s no real reason why it shouldn’t be successful if the guy controling it knows what he’s doing (and Wirth Research proved with their ALMS prototype that they know).

      How many times in the last 10 years has a team underperform and then complained that the windtunell wasn’t calibrated properly?
      Why should a windtunnell be anymore accurate than CFD?

  14. Ajayrious says:

    James, have you heard anything about Adam Carroll. I really want to see him in F1 next season as he’s a very exciting driver to watch but i’ve heard he lacks sponsorship and that has really hurt this career through lower formulae.

    Great site by the way, first time commenting but have been reading from the start, well done and i hope the book goes well.

    Ajayrious.

    1. melonfarmer says:

      I too would love to see Adam Carroll in F1 following his success in A1GP last season (Team Ireland champions). Speedtv have reported that he does actually have a budget and winning in a car based on a 2004 Ferrari seems good preparation for F1. The pay driver stigma should be put on hold for a few years; these new teams are a fantastic opportunity for new drivers (Carroll vs Senna would be very interesting… and, dare I say, 1 sided!).

  15. Stu says:

    So Glock is apparently in talks with 3 teams. manor are top of the list, Renault are on the list too. So who is the 3rd team?

    It’s refreshing though that a driver would is prepared to put racing ahead of money.

  16. Matt says:

    Hay James, of topic I know…but any news yet regarding Silverstone? Its all gone quiet! Wasn’t the deadline for them to sign Bernies agreement last Saturday?

    Cheers boss

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m hearing that it looks positive and some senior government figures are involved now.

      1. melonfarmer says:

        Great, so we’re bailing out the banks to the tune of £4000 each and now Silverstone… at least they can’t pay themselves billions in bonuses – that’s Bernie’s job.

      2. James Allen says:

        No I don’t think government subisdy is on the table, but they are trying to makes sure we retain a race in the UK

  17. M__E says:

    I read here recently that the new teams will be close to 2 seconds slower than the current slow teams in F1! – if so if I was Glock I’d take the risk, as joining the new teams would be career suicide otherwise, also Kubica doesnt seem to be ruffled and he’s a much more established and got a WHOLE lot more to lose by not having a drive (eek!) in 2010 if Renault pulled the plug.

    Glock stay put at Renault!

  18. Mike Murphy says:

    I think Glock would be an excellent no.2 at McLaren.He is good on a heavy fuel load and would not cost McLaren as much as other names rumoured to go there.
    Also Mac owe him for Brazil 08!

    1. Ad says:

      Glock is not an upgrade of Kovalainen though, might as well keep the Heikki in.

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