Although the team has yet to announce it officially, Timo Glock has insisted on the Virgin racing official website that he will stay with Virgin next season.
“I am definitely driving for Virgin Racing,” Glock said “There has been a lot of speculation about me wanting to leave the team, but it is not about leaving a team, it is about wanting to do better and keep moving forward. It is not just 99.9% certain that I will stay, as has been reported – it is 100% certain!”
The statement comes on the back of rumours that he was looking for a move up the grid and also the FIA’s official entry list which was published this week with no driver names against the two Virgin Racing entries.
Glock maintains that he has always been in it for the long haul, like Trulli and Kovalainen at Lotus.
“Since the beginning I have had a long-term contract with the team and I said then that I was doing this to help build a team for the future,” he added.
Virgin is clearly waiting to announce both drivers together. As this article on the site appears to be the team’s way of confirming he will race for them next year, that will leave nine empty berths in the 2011 entry list. One of them could be filled by Christmas as Glock believes that his team mate will be named by then.
Glock was the more competitive of the two Virgin drivers this season. The team struggled with reliability issues in the first half of the season, particularly on the bought-in hydraulics and gearboxes from Xtrac. This was a common problem for all three new teams. Of the three Virgin is the only one keeping faith with Xtrac next season; Lotus have a back end from Red Bull, while HRT has done a similar deal with Williams.
Glock outqualified the cars of main rival Lotus on four occasions this season, but had a best result of 16th place. He was extremely unlucky to be taken out in the Korean Grand Prix by Sebastien Buemi when he was en route to a possible 12th place, which would have given Virgin 11th place in the Constructors’ Championship.
As it was they finished last behind HRT. Glock also points out that he has faith in the Digital car approach of Nick Wirth, who eschews wind tunnels in favour of all CFD. “I think we showed that it is possible to design and develop a good all-digital Formula One car,” he said. “Perhaps the way we demonstrated this most is how we developed the car from pre-season testing to the end of the season.”