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Glock confirms Manor move
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Glock confirms Manor move
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Nov 2009   |  12:55 pm GMT  |  48 comments

Manor GP has pulled off a great coup by signing up Timo Glock, as we foreshadowed here last week. He becomes the second driver to be named by one of the four new teams. Lotus has signed a driver but has yet to announce his identity or whether he is a race or reserve driver.

Glock has had some impressive drives in the last couple of seasons, with podium finishes in Bahrain and Singapore this year and at Hungary last year. He ended the season on a bit of downbeat note with injuries and illnesses and a monstrous accident at Suzuka, but he remains one of the more dependable drivers in the field and I can totally see why Manor prioritised him.

“It has always been my recommendation that we have at least one driver with experience of the 2009 cars to help our development programme, but to get a driver that has not only achieved podium finishes in 2009 but has such proven talent and the potential to take us forward for many years is very exciting,” said Manor designer Nick Wirth.

“The fact that he has come and seen all aspects of the project before making his decision speaks volumes about what we have achieved so far. Now we just can’t wait to get Timo into the new car once track testing begins next year.”

During the Abu Dhabi weekend Glock was reported to have signed for Renault, but it seems that he’s pulled back from that and has committed himself to building a team up from scratch. It will be a long hard toil, as Jacques Villeneueve will tell you from his BAR days, and you don’t always stay around long enough to enjoy the fruits when they come.

2010 DRIVER LINE UP SO FAR

Mercedes
Rosberg
Heidfeld?

Red Bull
Vettel
Webber

McLaren
Hamilton
Button?

Ferrari
Alonso
Massa

Williams
Barrichello
Hulkenberg

Renault
Kubica
?

Force India
Sutil?
?

Toro Rosso
Buemi
Alguersuari

Campos
Senna
de la Rosa?

Manor
Glock
Di Grassi?

Lotus
Trulli?
Davidson?

Sauber
Heidfeld?
Fisichella?

USF1
?
?

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48 Comments
  1. I feel sorry for Glock – he is a very good and consistent driver and has the potential to do very well under the new regulations (refuelling ban). He deserves a drive at a top team – at Manor the best he can hope for is to get noticed by a better team and move on next year.

    1. Crid [CridComment @ gmail] says:

      Jaco- I really like your blog name! But how many years of “good and consistent” does a guy get before you think he was “just not that great”?

      1. Thanks Crid! I guess being ‘good and consistent’ in F1 can be something of a curse. Everyone is always looking for the next Schumi or Senna. Glock will have to be very impressive if he has any hope of grabbing a drive for a top team in the future.

  2. Kay says:

    I think this is a strange decision by Glock. It’s a big risk which has got to have a rather low chance of reward.

    It makes me wonder about the Renault situation as he was rumoured to be on the verge of signing for them only a few weeks ago. He’d have a much better chance of getting points and podiums with Renault, and for those rumours to be quite widespread they must have been very interested in him. I can only think that the situation at Renault is unstable, causing Timo to back out of any negotiations – I don’t see him as the kind of driver wanting to build a new team around himself as a challenge.

    James, do you have any information about when we’re likely to hear about Renault’s commitment to F1?

    There are rumours now of Montagny going to Renault. Surely now with Glock out of the picture it has to be Kovalainen or Heidfeld. Could Montagny be Renault’s Badoer moment?

  3. Silverstoned says:

    That’s a grid missing it’s top driver, James.
    With respect, won’t happen.

  4. parthi says:

    Hi James,

    With all the reports of Glock being a shoe-in at Renault, do you think his decision to sign for Manor suggests Renault’s long term commitment to F1 is in serious doubt?

  5. Steve W says:

    This is quite an interesting development, given the strong rumours that Glock would be driving for Renault next season. Something seems to have changed over the last couple of weeks, as surely if there was an offer on the table from an existing team, you would likely choose that rather than gambling on a new team. I wonder what is going on at Renault? I’m sure we will find out in the coming weeks!

    1. Stevie P says:

      Speculation on my part… but maybe Kubica has a No 1 clause in his contract with Renault and Glock didn’t want to be a No 2? At Manor, he should be No 1, as whoever is likely to come in alongside him will have little or no F1 experience. Just a thought… :-)

  6. lynnduffy says:

    James, I notice that you don’t have Kovi slotted in anywhere. Now that Glock has gone elsewhere is he odds-on for the Renault No 2 seat, or is he heading to a new team too?

    He’s a few tenths off the top of the grid but I’d hate to see him go.. he’s such a cheerful chirpy lad. :)

  7. Ronald Ooms says:

    My eyes will be focussed on Senna for next season. He’s a great chap. Met him twice. He is a great asset for F1.
    I’m curious who will fill the other seats at those new teams. I’m happy for Glock he got a drive for next year.

    1. James Allen says:

      Agreed, he’s a lovely guy. Some of his features and mannersims are uncannily like his uncle, whom I had the privilege of knowing

      1. Dan says:

        I see a lot of potential in this guy, not Ayrton levels, he missed out on too much racing as a kid, but his career development curve has been rather extraordinary, and he does well every time he steps up…

        It’s great to have a Senna back, and not just because of his name… His DNA seems to be pretty special too…

  8. DaveCS says:

    What are your thoughts on the rumours of Michael Schumacher making a return to Formula One with Mercedes?

    Given his history with Ross Brawn at Ferrari, along with his sportscar background with Mercedes and Mercedes wanting a German super-team, it all makes sense on paper.

    I can’t see Ross Brawn being content with a line-up consisting of Heidfeld and Rosberg, as you say, neither has won a race and Rosberg, although he has performed solidly this year, is still quite an unknown quantity.

    He has yet to go up against a “top tier” driver as a team mate.

    I guess we’ll see soon.

    1. James Allen says:

      That is the weakness of Brawn’s position – the alternative if Button leaves. I don’t see Schumacher there, no.

    2. Martin Collyer says:

      Didn’t Schumacher sign a new contract as a Ferrari consultant recently?

      Perhaps more relevant, De Montezemolo is still talking about running a third car, he must have Schumacher in mind for that surely.

      1. Declan says:

        I think that was a smoke screen – to accomodate for Kimi, Alonso, Massa. Schuey has always stated that he would never come back for a full season. Nothing to gain and all to lose.

  9. Chris says:

    Hmm, and I suspect that USF1 will remain a “?” until it becomes a “DNS”

    1. I’d say USF1 will be there, but whether they make it to 2011 is a different matter. Personally I hope they succeed, as it may boost interest in a market that F1 has – quite frankly – screwed around over the years.

      There’s also some pretty good young US drivers that are waiting for an opportunity too – Johnathan Summerton and JR Hildebrand being the best of them.

      As for Glock, I seriously like the guy and can understand if he may have been left with little choice considering Renault’s current state of indecision.

  10. LMW says:

    James – love reading your posts and this is now my home page, but why is it that I can access your latest posts if I follow your links posted on twitter, but not when I go directly to your home page?

    1. James Allen says:

      Try emptying your cache. It’s all working fine now.

      1. Neil Williams says:

        Do you now have this on cut & paste, James? :-)

  11. Ed says:

    This should be good news for Heidfeld and Kovalainen, both of whom will probably be in contention for the 2nd Renault seat now.

    Quite a surprising career move from Glock, maybe he knows something we don’t about Renault’s future, because that seemed a much better drive to have. Even if their future was only secure until the end of 2010, he would be better off signing a one-year deal, and then go back on the market, maybe then to a new team after they had had time to develop a bit.

  12. Érico says:

    There should be a question mark behind the Renault team as well.

  13. MorrisOx says:

    James, some of the questionmarks aren’t surprising, but what are we to make of the blanks against USF1?
    I remember your post about the tean’s facilities and the design and fabricatioon work that was taking place, but I also recall that surfaced after questions were asked about the project’s apparent lack of progress.
    If the team really is serious about getting on the grid next year then surely someone is in the frame?

  14. Steve J says:

    This is a big risk for Glock. Although he’s had some great drives over the past couple of seasons, he’s yet to establish himself as one of the really big names in F1. If Manor don’t perform, Glock could get left behind. That said, if his team-mate is a newcomer Glock could look good.

    As for his anticipated move to Renault, I don’t think it necessarily means that Glock knows something the rest of F1 doesn’t. My guess is he thought he couldn’t aford to wait around to find out, which would be understandable. Also, with Alonso gone, Renault have turned to Kubica to lead the team. Maybe Glock, at this stage of his career, didn’t much fancy going up against a talent like Robert’s in a team which could be rebuilt around the Pole.

    To me, it’s more interesting that Glock’s opted for Manor now, rather than waiting to see the outcome of the Mercedes and McLaren line-ups, or even contemplate a move to Force India in place of Fisichella, given its technical partnership with McLaren (though I admit an all German line up in an Indian team would not be ideal for VJ Mallya)

    Overall, a great coup for Manor, less so for Glock. Barring a freak result, it’ll be a very long time before Glock returns to the podium. Treasure the memories of Singapore, Timo!

  15. Niko says:

    To me, Manor actually seems a better option than Renault. There’ll be no pressure for results, and Glock will be able to influence the design to something more like he prefers. Not only are Renault still doubtful for next year, but the car looks even worse than the Ferrari for being able to drive, the team is in transition and shows little sign of breaking into the current top 4, and anyway Kubica will be the big boy there. If Kovalainen is out of a seat next year, he could do worse than follow Glock instead of Kubica.

  16. Lustigson says:

    Quite a lot of empty spots, there, James. I tried to fill in the blanks like I’ve done on the Autosport.com forum.

    McLaren–Mercedes
    1. Button (?) / Räikkönen (?)
    2. Hamilton

    Mercedes
    3. Rosberg
    4. Heidfeld (?) / Button (?)

    Red Bull–Renault
    5. Vettel
    6. Webber

    Ferrari
    7. Massa
    8. Alonso

    Williams–Cosworth
    9. Barrichello
    10. Hülkenberg

    Renault
    11. Kubica
    12. Montagny (?) / Sutil (?) / Kovalainen (?) / Di Grassi

    Force India–Mercedes
    14. Sutil (signed, but may leave to top team) / Piquet (?)
    15. Liuzzi (has a 2-year contract)

    Toro Rosso–Ferrari (?)
    16. Buemi
    17. Alguersuari (not yet signed, but highly likely)

    Campos–Cosworth
    18. Senna
    19. Petrov (?) / Maldonado (?) / De la Rosa (ever more unlikely) / Piquet (?)

    Manor–Cosworth
    20. Glock
    21. Di Grassi (?) / Davidson (?)

    USF1–Cosworth
    22. Villeneuve (?)
    23. De la Rosa (?) / Montagny (?)

    Lotus–Cosworth
    24. Trulli (?) / Davidson (?)
    25. Sato (?) / Kobayashi (?)

    Sauber–Ferrari
    26. Heidfeld (?) / Klien (?)
    27. Fisichella (?) / Petrov (?)

  17. artorwar says:

    Always nice to see a good Irish lad doing well, I like his style and whilst I dont think he is a world class driver he’s dependable and you can see him nicking results in a nice motor. Hope he does well, even if I am going to be supporting Campos out of the new teams!

  18. Martin Collyer says:

    It looks like there is more in this for Manor than there is for Glock. I thought he was quite well regarded in the Paddock, OK so he’s not Alonso, and was on his way to Renault.

    Rereading Ghosn’s announcement of November 5th, he’s announcing that there will be an announcement by the end of the year, not a promising sign. If Glock has figured out that Renault may not be around much longer, and he’s correct, what happens to Kubica?

    On another point, the new teams have all been criticised recently for not communicating any of their plans. Lo and behold, we get a rush of announcements from Manor (Glock and Di Grassi?), Lotus (Fernandes says he’s signed a driver but won’t say who, Gascoyne says optimistic of being best of the new teams, expects to challenge some of the existing teams fairly soon), Campos (Senna, Dallara progressing well, De La Rosa needs to bring sponsorship if he wants the drive), USF1, nothing apart from announcing it’s European base.

    I think it was you James, who said recently that Peter Windsor had assured you that all is well with USF1. Is that still the case?

  19. Paul Gibson says:

    I’d be disappointed to see Heidfeld at Mercedes. No disrespect to Nick, I’d just rather see Paul Di Resta, Jamie Green or even Gary Paffett get a shot, having served Mercedes so well for so long.

    If I was Martin Whitmarsh or Ross Brawn I’d be closely watching the Renault situation (I’m sure they are); if Kubica suddenly becomes available I’d snap up him over Button

  20. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find he was either not wanted at Renault as Kove could end up there or that Renault will end up out of F1 by the end of the year. My money would be on the first as I think Renault would have left right away if they were going to.

    I really hope that Davidson gets a drive and still don’t know why Paffett hasn’t been given a chance by F1 cars yet. Do they simply not have the sponsorship backing they need? De Grassi isn’t good enough for F1 at the moment, other drivers deserve a chance ahead of him.

  21. Kedar says:

    Hi James,
    How serious are these new teams. People have been hailing the privateers but to be honest when did we have a privateer minus the backing of a manufacturer (Brawns operation this year was effectively paid by Honda and McLaren cant be called a privateer) do well in F1 last?
    Are they just going to fill the places vacated by Super Aguri, Arrows, Prost and similar teams? or do they really have it in them (resource and talent wise)to give the Ferrari’s and McLarens a tough fight?
    Secondly how does the new Mercedes strategy affect Force India? (I remember they had a tech collaboration with Mclaren and used Mercedes engines)

    1. James Allen says:

      Force India relationship continues

  22. Kav says:

    This is such a step back for Timo, he’s not old but he isn’t exactly young as well. I just hope his stock will rise next year and he can join a better team. I also hope Manor do well next year because I doubt Timo would be able to show much if he’s just fighting at the back.

    He must have become scared of Renault pulling out, but surely another team would have picked him out? Sauber? Force India..? It’s not like he’s been poor these past two seasons, I can see Kovalainen ending up at Renault now despite having a worse reputation. Hopefully he does, assuming Heidfeld gets the Merc seat :)

  23. steph90 says:

    James I’ve found a report where Piquet Jnr names Force India as a possibility for next year? Do you know anything? Is it possible Piquet could return for 2010?
    I read a report that USF1 had at least lodged their entry fee but as for drivers I have no clue. Lotus I’m thinking Jacques V.
    Thanks very much for an excellent blog!

  24. Steve W says:

    I notice from your list James that Heikki Kovalainen isn’t included anywhere. He seems to have become a forgotten man, and I haven’t seen his name connected with any teams recently, which is surprising given that it’s widely accepted he won’t be in a McLaren next season. With Kimi Raikkonen’s F1 future in the balance too, could F1 really have no Finnish drivers next season, or is Heikki still expected to slot in somewhere?

  25. Andrew says:

    I notice the second seat for Force India is left blank.
    Now I understand that while Sutil has had the option taken on him, the team will let him go if a larger team comes asking.
    But as for Liuzzi there has been a lot said that he has a long term contract in place and that 2010 he was said to have the race seat (be it this info came from one of you paddock colleagues).
    Also seen a quote from Piquet JR saying he is talking with F-I as well, thinking he may have a chance there. Anything been heard about this?

  26. Neil Williams says:

    I personally think Timo has made a very bold move. He has seen what Nick Wirth and the Manor guys are up to, knows of the impending rebranding to Virgin-F1 and has decided to give it a go. Fair play. I’m sure they will not ‘do a Brawn’ next year but if the CFD-designed car is driveable, Timo will get the best out of it and give them a true idea of where they are in the pecking order. Villeneuve and BAT/BAR fell on their collective ars#s because they promised too much from day one instead of building the right infrastructure/personnel and spent 3 years fire fighting their earlier mistakes. A new team from the ground up, could be the ideal opportunity for a driver to get noticed by a bigger team or lead that new team on to great things.

    Timo, I salute you!

  27. John Snow says:

    has Alguersuari been confirmed at STR? (hope so, he deserves another season)

    I heard Klien had a race drive at BMW Sauber for next year, after all thats happened with the team does he have a chance at the seat?

  28. John says:

    Manor have done well to get Glock; I can’t see why he hasn’t been snapped up by one of the established teams. That begs the question, who is going to be #2 at Renault, if Renault come to mind? No-one obvious comes to mind… who do you think, James?

  29. bones says:

    James what do you know about the chances of the argentinian Lopez joining USF1?

  30. Martin G says:

    Have Toyota given up their place on the grid next year, or do they still hold it pending a sale of the team? I didn’t think Sauber were back in yet?

    No rumours about USF1 drivers, are they going to make it?

    1. James Allen says:

      They are out. Sauber still hasn’t been awarded the place yet, though

  31. Glen says:

    Just heard on xfm that Raikkonen is not going to race in 2010 as his Mclaren deal has fallen through. This is a shame, if true. I prefer his no nonsense style.

  32. Gabriel says:

    Why is Adam Carrol not mentioned as possible F1 driver. Has done very well in the lower series (including winning A1GP last season) and deserves a shot at the big time.

    1. Steve W says:

      I agree that Adam Carroll deserves a chance. There are drivers making into F1 that have done far less than he has, he has won races in GP2 after all. Unfortunately money plays as much a part as talent, and there are several drivers missing out on deserved F1 opportunites as a result. There’s also the likes of Paul Di Resta, Gary Paffett, and Jamie Green, who should have been given an F1 chance by now but, despite being contracted to Mercedes, have not been given the opportunity.

  33. Robert George says:

    Good point Steve W.

    How about Mercedes GP giving a chance to one of their team who have been held in Tintop hell for the last few years ?

    Why not Paul Di Resta ? F3 Euroseries Champion – the year after Lewis. It is worth reminding ourselves how dominant the UK was in that 3 year period. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_Three_Euroseries

    Go on James. Ask Mercedes GP why they are not going to give a chance to one of their loyal inhouse team ? Quick Nick has had his chance at BMW and to be honest has not been that exciting …

  34. Ace Best says:

    IMHO,I put my money on Chanduk to fill in Force India’s 2nd seat..

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