Less than a week after losing his Formula One seat with Marussia F1, Timo Glock has joined BMW as a factory driver in DTM. The move comes following the Germans impressive first taste of the new machinery, at Valencia this week.
Today’s move sees Glock reunited with the company that started his racing career and gave him his first chance in a Formula One car.
“We are delighted to have Timo Glock back at BMW Motorsport,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Over the course of his career, Timo has proven on more than one occasion how valuable he is to any team, thanks to his driving ability and open manner. The fact that he is now returning to the BMW family six years after leaving his role as test driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team makes this appointment all the more pleasing. I am confident Timo will take no time at all to find his feet in the DTM and will give the fans a lot of pleasure.”
Glock left Marussia earlier this week with it very publicly known that they could not afford to run a driver who does not bring funding to the Banbury – based team. And with DTM being rich with past and present Formula One drivers Glock is looking to prove himself in the extremely competitive category.
“The strength in depth at the top of the DTM is fascinating. Every qualifying and every race comes down to a few thousandths of a second. It is a similar story among the very top teams in Formula One, but the difference in performance between the teams is much greater. My team-mate was essentially my only reference point. I am now putting myself under pressure to prove myself in a far more evenly balanced field. I know Formula One drivers have rarely been able to make an impact in the DTM. I want to prove I am different and will at some point be challenging for victories. Only time will tell whether or not I achieve this. I am certainly not lacking in motivation,” said Glock.
Glock is the third driver in recent years to switch from Formula One to DTM – regarded as the most competitive tin-top championship in the world – following on from Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard. Both Schumacher and Coulthard found it difficult to adapt to the new machinery in their initial years, although they both took up the role following their retirement from F1. For Glock, however, it was a case of being forced whilst still near his peak.
Robert Kubica also took part in the Valencia test at the wheel of a Mercedes and showed impressive pace as he amps up his return to motor racing.
Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari had been linked with a BMW DTM drive, but is also holding on for a possible seat at Force India or Caterham, despite having limited budget. Time will tell where the Glock move leaves Alguersuari. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery made it clear on Wednesday that he would like to retain the Spaniard as F1 test and development driver, although Pirelli would need to agree a continuation of its F1 contract beyond 2013 to make such a role necessary.