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Need for survival at Marussia forces Timo Glock out: Petrov to replace him?
Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Jan 2013   |  11:26 am GMT  |  103 comments

The Marussia F1 team has confirmed this morning that Timo Glock will not be driving its car this season.

The 11th hour announcement, just two weeks before the start of the F1 pre-season tests, came with an acknowledgement from the team that this move was forced by a need to survive financially; Glock was paid a salary by the team and clearly his replacement will be a driver with a solid budget.

Given the Russian connections and sponsor backing that Vitaly Petrov enjoys, it looks very much as though he will be the replacement.

“The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future,” admitted team principal John Booth in a statement. “Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, Formula 1 teams included.”

Over the winter the HRT team failed and there were many stories about the state of Marussia’s financial health over the closed season.

The Chilton family has come in and invested in the team, with Max Chilton taking one of the race seats, but clearly survival is at the top of the agenda.

Ironically the Marussia may not be a bad car this year; the team is now benefitting from its association with McLaren, the wind tunnel programme is believed to have produced quite an improvement. And under the canny technical management of ex Benetton and Renault engineer Pat Symonds and with KERS for the first time, the Marussia may well be quite a tidy car.

Glock had a valid contract for 2013 and the lateness of the move means that he will be entitled to quite a reasonable pay off. Rather than this becoming acrimonious, as it was a few years ago when Tonio Liuzzi was dropped by Force India, the driver and the team has sorted it out and Glock is believed to be close to a DTM drive.

* There was reaction from Glock’s fellow drivers: Jenson Button Tweeted, “It’s a Shame to see that @realTimoGlock is off the F1 grid for ’13. No way that’ll be the last we see of him.”

Sergio Perez tweeted, “Mate big shame to hear the news !! We will miss you specially at the drivers dinner! I’m sure you will be back soon @realTimoGlock”, while there was this from Mark Webber, “@realTimoGlock you’ll be missed matey on the drivers parade and drivers meetings chats. One of the good guys, and never went to your head.”

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Glock you were a wasted talent at Marrusia, may you grace DTM with your talents.


James I remember reading somewhere that Marussias money troubles are so bad that they were talking to buyers. but I dont remember seeing.much follow up about it. Is the Glock decision due to talks going sour?


Fans want to see the best drivers fight it out in the best cars. I feel that maybe there needs to be some change in the management, a better balance of rules. Everything is pretty strict besides money!

It is a pitty that several good drivers are out, but it’s a business. I hope there can be some fresh thinking and positive changes soon though.


The whole F1 financial model seems broken to me. I’m a big fan, yet F1 has extracted exactly $0 out of me in the last 10 years.

If everything was rolled up now, all debts settled, I wonder who, if anyone, would be left holding the cash?


Do you watch F1 on TV? Or check the F1 news online?

If the answer to either question is yes, then F1 has got money out of you, as advertisers have monetized your interest into and so TV companies pay F1 large sums for rights, or F1 writers are able to have (excellent) sponsored websites.

You may not pay cash, but your interest in F1 does fund it.

Scuderia McLaren

Drawing long bow there I think Robert. I understand what Tom in Adelaide (nice city btw) means. In all those years, no direct money left his pocket and went into F1 or team coffers.

Assuming he was a big fan, that is terrible. I have NO respect for NASCAR as a sporting disciple, but I can’t help but respect how much money they do get out of fans and how everyone seems to pay their bills and have nice paychecks. F1 could have done better over the last few decades.

The whole “monetize fan veiwership” is good, but should only be part of the pie. There is a whole other side that F1 can look at. Many many top line sports have done very well beyond the TV stuff. MR.E has really held the sport back in the regard I think. Old mind holding onto old methods that are becoming dated and suffocating for the true prosperity of F1


Have a guess….


It’s not me is it?


Give me a B…

Give me a E…

Give me a R…

And so on.


It could be argued then, that Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo was right (a few weeks ago at Ferrari’s traditional pre-Christmas media lunch at the team’s base in Maranello) in calling for a new “more modern era” in F1, wanting a new structure of leadership, and an the end to what he referred to as Bernie’s “one-man show”.


The lawyers? :p


Sad to see Timo without a drive- in the right car he would win a GP at some point.

What this highlights to everyone- I hope- is that F1 needs to change. Budget controls need to happen ! it doesn’t have to happen next year – but it must happen. Bernie can talk about only 10 teams and that might be viable right now but even teams like Williams and Lotus are often on the brink. We could have more customer cars going round- but do we all want to see 6 average Ferraris going around or two brilliant ones?

It’s either that or F1 management prop up teams with loans based on certain performance targets. Ie they achieve 105% or better of winning team by seasons end. Like Timo said its less about sport and more about money and somehow I feel it needs to strike a balance.


For me this just diminishes F1. A sport awash in money where talented drivers need to move aside for less talented pay drivers. Pinnacle of motorsport! What a farce!



Do you think that there is any chance of some sort of budget cap coming into F1 soon? Surely the likes of Glock, Kovalainen and Kobayashi would still be on the grid if the teams could afford them.


I can’t see the teams like RBR who have most to lose accepting it

Ferrari was dead against in 2009


So, there is no point of blaming Ecclestone or the FIA, as the main problem are Top Teams like Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren. They only think to win whatever it costs and probably they will implement a new series if FIA tries to impose them a budget cap, as they have tried to do in a recent past. At the end of the day Top Teams are shortsighted, as in long term F1 can collapse due to the absurd and ridiculous costs. Top Teams just don’t seem to understand world changed since 2008 due to the financial crisis!


Would RBR and Ferrari go away with a budge cap? So be it. RBR has WRC, Dakar and they could join LeMans and DTM. I don´t think RBR will be miss that much in the F1.

Ferrari will be miss a lot. At least it is believed they will. I take the risk. After all fans and the media seem more interested in who the best driver is rather than the best team or the history of that team. So keep the best drivers


That’s the problem !



Any truth to these Force India in difficulty rumours? Friend of mine noted that it was odd that they were announcing the next driver after the launch


I read on Sky Sports that Timo got a tweet from Webber which read:

“@realTimoGlock you’ll be missed matey on the drivers parade and drivers meetings chats. One of the good guys, and never went to your head. enjoy the next challenge, be great to see you in a competitive car again. All the best buddy”

and Timo’s reply:

“Hi mate, thanks a lot for that message, that means a lot to me! That’s the way of F1 at the moment hope it will change again soon because like this it has nothing to do with sport!”

Glock’s “nothing to do with sport” comment, I think, tells us a lot about the teams that must be struggling (financially) at the moment. Well, probably all of them, really – but mostly perhaps Force India, Caterham and Marussia.

I would surmise these are the teams really taking their time to hunt for a driver with the best mix of a substantial ‘bag of money’ + potential-talent and/or experience.


Formula one is a highly profitable business, alas most of the teams, racetrack owners and drivers seem to be struggling all that time. What that means is: It’s not that there is not enough money, the wrong people get it. There seem to be too many people earning a shedload of money that don’t contribute to the show.


Thats a bit of a back handed compliment from Webber, he will be missed but not on the race track……


this is a symptom of something that went wrong a long while ago with f1 . there is more than enough money to go round but Bernie ( i know bernie made the sport , commercially that is ) and Max made sure it went somewhere else other than the sport and to keep his daughters in pink rolls. Bernie continues this attitude today , no deal for Murussia , hence the need for a pay driver now .

i love, love F1 and motorsport but Bernie is dillusional about F1’s importance , this will eventually come down on him .

Drivers do come with backing , or obtain it over time , even the very best but have you ever heard of someone paying to play in the prem , nba , nfl

Whilst this happens on such a regular basis it will never be a true gauge of driving and racing skill .


Maybe Timo should consider using his “Get Out of Jail Free” card that he earned moving over in Brazil 2008.


Timo definitely deserves better.

G/L to him.


Perhaps FIA/FOM should mandate that a certain percentage of a team’s budget will go to drivers’ pay.

Of course F1 is a team sport, and in many ways a business before a sport, but the intriguing human stories of the sport are overwhelmingly that of the drivers. It SHOULD be the forum for the BEST drivers in the world to compete. Actions like this one with Glock make a mockery of that.

For the conspiracy theorists, was this the payoff for the last lap at Interlago in ’08?! Lol!

Glock deserved far better than this.


I can see this decision from both sides. If you put Alonso in his place he still would not score any points. You may as well take a driver with cash and save changes coming up in 2014.

Timo is a good driver but his career is not going anywhere fast trawling around at the back. He has had six well paid years in F1 and is generally well liked which will hold him in good stead incase a replacement driver is required next year. I’d rather do one race in a Lotus than 16 in a Marussia.

There are some decent drivers that come with cash that could do a decent job. Neither Timo or Heikki really outshone their respective paying team mates last year.

Given the drama between Petrov and Pic in the last Grand Prix of the year, it would be rather ironic that they are changing places this year.

It is a real shame that their is no real single seater competition for F1 these days. I would love to see some of the drivers who are currently out of F1 through no fault of their own up against each other.

Jaime Alguersuari, Bruno Senna, Adrian Sutil, Sebastian Buemi, Jerome D’ambrosio, Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi have all performed well enough to be regarded F1 class and all maybe without a drive next season. Throw in a few drivers which should have got to F1 but never had the funds and you would have a pretty good series.

Wonder if we will see any of these drivers in Formula E.


Must be hard for Marussia when they don’t get any prize money from the governing body, shame Timo had to go

What’s even worse about F1 teams being forced into employing pay drivers is Jean Todt asking the teams to pay higher entry fees, doesn’t really help matters, even if the top teams do pay a larger percentage than others


If he was a real racer he would not want to drive a car that has no chance of winning. But he does so what does that say about the mentality of this driver… The only thing a driver in this car can look forward too is when the blue flag will go up so they can move over.


He’s a fascinating driver and I’m considering a blog on this topic with a working title: “Timo Glock: Continuing to walk the less-travelled road” because his career has kind of been like that.

He seemed to come out of nowhere to get into F1, then when he left he went Stateside for a year. Got back to Europe with GP2 – looked to be a nightmare at BCN but rescued by iSport and he rewarded them in turn with the title the following year. Two pretty good years at Toyota; he got cold feet on a deal with Renault and promptly spent the next three seasons trying to get a Manor/Virgin/Marussia onto about the 9th or 10th Row on the grid.

I really hope this is a positive new chapter in his life and think a DTM drive could be really good for him because the talent is there. I never saw him as an F1 World Champion but on his day he was seriously quick – a race winner definitely. I just wonder if he regrets some of the career decisions he’s made – particularly not going with Renault for 2010. His route to F1 was pretty unstructured too but then that is probably more likely if you’re not part of a Young Driver programme.

If Marussia are competitive he’ll no doubt kick himself to an extent but I hope he doesn’t get too upset because I think we all underestimated just how much the new teams would struggle in F1. Gains tend to be made in absolute terms (i.e. laptime gap relative to the polesitter) but not in relative terms (i.e. moving up the grid in the process). Even with McLaren’s support I’m not sure Marussia will be able to break this trend, particularly if they are still trying to meet a funding shortfall. Of course, time will tell.

Adrian Newey Jnr

Good summary. I think that says more about the attitudes of the top teams. Apart from RB and their driver academy, the other top teams don’t appear to be willing to take too much of a risk on the driver front. Look at how Ferrari dealt with Massa’s difficulties in previous years.

I guess we will see how Perez turns out at McLaren.


If Glock is so talented then why did no decent teams come in for him when Toyota pulled out, same with kovalienen, in my opinion they are not quite good enough and have had more than a fair crack of the whip.


It´s not about talent it´s about money and sponsors. Do you really believe that Grosjean and Maldonado are very telented drivers? They bring money to their teams


So did Paul Belmondo but Maldonado is an F1 race winner which was won on merit.


Winner? All he won last year was one race. And after that it was all about penalties and accidents and no points neither for him in the WDC nor for his team.


He turned down Renault for Virgin, bad move maybe but he deserves to be in F1


Glock only has himself to blame if he turned down a team who had won two WDC’s in the five years before 2010 (Vigins Debut) the only reason could have been Virgin offered him more money, he could have been a race winner but chose to earn more money and pootle around at the back of the grid, no way does he deserve to be in F1 with that mindset.


It was indeed a bad move, made me wonder whether he was simply content being a journeyman


Yeah… Despite what he’s said I think he must have found it hard every time he got lapped by one of those Lotus/Renault cars, knowing he turned down a drive there…


Totally agree. I would rather see young, albeit well funded, GP2 chargers on the grid than likeable journeymen.

People are worried that money is becoming more important than talent in F1, but the field in 2013 is likely to be one of the most talented, if not the most talented, collection of drivers in the history of the sport.


Pic and Petrov swap places – rather redundant.


The top teams have the bigger paying sponsors. At the end of the year when they finnish at the top, they receive many millions more than the teams struggling below. Am i missing something or is that a bit wrong?

Very sad news for Timo, he’s a superb driver and deserves to be rewarded with a faster car he helped develop.


What do you suggest? More prize money for lower ranked teams?


Something needs to change! If F1 is to be the pinnacle of motorsport, then it must have the best drivers. This year particularly, too many merit drivers are being lost to pay drivers.

Come on Bernie help the teams out!


I’d be interested to see who people think are the pay drivers with more money than talent.

Maldonado brings a lot of funding to Williams but is undeniably quick. Grosjean brings some Total money but again is a potential winner. Perez has benefitted from Telmex funding but McLaren don’t hire bad drivers. Pic is supposed to bring monies to the team but wasn’t out-classed by Glock……

Even with money from fans Kamui couldn’t get a drive.



Have you ever considered that Kamui didnt want to pay between 5-10million euros to be at the back of the grid?



Is Alonso a pay driver given the Santander money he takes with him?



So we now know Marussia are in trouble, and I have doubts over Force India, despite the team’s defiance. 18 cars for 2014?


I second that.


Lotus were also in a mess till late lasr year when they signed a sponsorship deal with Coca cola . Show that shows that not many f1 teams is immune from severe financial issues except maybe the top 3.


I think five is reasonable – Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Torro Rosso and Mercedes should all be okay for cash. Only the first two can we be truly sure are committed indefinitely from a management perspective.


Hope to see Timo in the Force India then, please.



But do they want some money?

Glock’s fate can be compared to that of Heiki, non-pay drivers losing out in back of grid teams.

It will go back to 90s style F1, when you typically had top guys in top seats, and then by and large some average dross paying their way in everything else. Diniz good example.


You wouldn’t see Diniz in Formula 1 today. For a start: buying a seat back then was cheap compared to now. A rich family or a good running business could buy you a ride. Nowadays it is so expensive that you need more cash than that and you need to be fast to attract the companies that will pay you a fortune to compete.


I feel the paying dross is now a larger group, and in that are higher quality drivers. So with 11 or 10 teams there seems to be enough quality who can also attract funds. The lower classes still need drivers to bring money, so you can be excellent and sponsored by a big team (Hamilton/Vettel) or you bring sponsors with you through the ranks (Sutil) to get good drives and from there win lower level drives while bringing money. I suspect that we will get many drivers in the coming years, who may not be stars, but have money and did win the occasional race in GP2 or FR3.5


I think Timo is the most unluckiest driver to grace F1 in recent times. He did have a fast car with Toyota, but of course they withdrew. He stayed loyal with Virgin/Marussia for a couple of years though, and was talented, but didn’t score a single point in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

It’s sad to see Timo go, but for other drivers that are likely to not get a drive at Force India or Caterham, that opens up another opportunity. Marussia will want a pay driver that’s for certain, as they’re ditching Glock to basically survive. If Vitaly Petrov joined Marussia, that would be good, as Russia is going to host a GP in 2014, so the inaugural Russian GP would have a Russian team with a Russian driver. Like Narain Karthikeyan when he signed up for HRT in 2011 and 2012 so the first two Indian GPs could have an Indian driver in them.

It’s a shame to see Glock go, but it would be an even bigger shame in my book if we lost Marussia, not long after losing HRT. So I wish Timo all the best for 2013.


Is he unlucky? Didn’t he have the option of a Renault drive and turn it down to go and drive for Virgin? That strikes me as an awfully bad bit of decision making. You make your own luck…!


It’s not quite that simple. Renault had just sold a majority stake off to Genii. With big changes happening, a drive with Renault wasn’t so certain. Sure it’s easy to look at Lotus Renault GP now and say, “Look who he could have been driving for,” (assuming he’d have put in performances worthy of him being retained)…

So he took what seemed at the time to be the better option, albeit a less competitive option, of driving for Virgin/Marussia.


Any way I can look at it joining the Enstone team, in whatever shape it was in at the time, carried far less risk than joining a startup who may have not even made it to the grid to begin with.


How is it that Marussia is benefiting from McLaren’s wind tunnel, when we hear that McLaren is camping at Cologne for Toyota’s ?


Wind tunnels are tools for measuring and are a good step towards confirming designs developed using computation fluid dynamics simulations. No one is designing things in the Toyota wind tunnel, only assessing whether things work or not.

The McLaren aerodynamics are likely to be much more refined, with many marginal incremental improvements that need to be tested to be sure that wind dynamics that are computationally expensive to model do not stuff up an idea in the real world. Marussia probably isn’t at that point of adjusting the length of slots in the rear wing on a race by race basis – it is looking for bigger steps to catch up to the pack with the design team that it has. For those big steps the McLaren wind tunnel is quite possibly sensitive enough, while the increased sensitivity of the Toyota one may not be of significant benefit given the cost of travelling to Germany.

Plus the McLaren one has to be empty more of the time as there’s a cap on wind tunnel hours, so Ron is probably charging a reasonable rate to make money out of something that would otherwise sit idle. Until someone from Marussia brings a post-it note 🙂


James isn’t actually saying that Marussia are using McLaren’s wind tunnel.

There is some collaboration with McLaren and Marussia are continuing to move away from computer modelled aero design.

As I understand the wind tunnel issue McLaren are using their own facilities for 2013 car and using the Toyota facilities for the 2014 car (but no doubt someone here will know for sure).



Good point…


However , if it is such a a good wind tunnel why didn’t Toyota win a Grand Prix?


Toyota’s facilities at Cologne are the biggest and best in F1 and that includes the technology centre at Woking and Maranello, of course it takes many things for a team to succeed, for starters Toyota never had a top quality driver and Glock was probably the best they had, secondly the 2005 and 2009 chassis were in fact really good and was often qualified on the front row but their engines wasn’t good enough and without KERS and with a engine freeze in place no wonder they gave up, but many sources were saying that the 2010 Toyota was a beast but was never allowed to race and the last poiny is that they never had a Adrian Newey, Rory Bearne or Colin Chapman under their belt, if Newey and Vettel was at Toyota in 2009 instead of Redbull you can bet they’d be world champions by now.


and don’t forget Ferrari have had to use that

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