Manor signs Glock as 'lead' driver
(GMM) Timo Glock has signed to race with the new British formula one team Manor.
In the Abu Dhabi paddock earlier this month, it seemed the 2009 Toyota driver would almost certainly be switching to Renault to become Robert Kubica's teammate.
But the 27-year-old German was on Tuesday revealed as Manor's "lead" driver, having reportedly inked a two-year deal with an option to include 2012.
"I had several options for 2010, some of them with more established teams," Glock said. "The (Manor) team may be small and new but it has big ambitions and a very impressive car and development program."
It is expected that a major tie-up with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin brand will be announced shortly.
Manor said: "The (Glock) announcement is a prelude to the official launch of the team later this year, when Manor Grand Prix expects to reveal more of its plans and car development program."
Technical director Nick Wirth said work on the 2010 car is proceeding on schedule.
"The first fully-finished monocoque was completed a week ago, and we've been crash testing all areas of the car since May," he said. "I think we'll have the bulk of the official FIA tests done by Christmas."
Recent reports said Glock's teammate would likely be a pay-driver, such as the Brazilian Lucas di Grassi or Irishman Adam Carroll.
Wirth said it was his recommendation "that we have at least one driver with experience of the 2009 cars to help our development program".
Timo Glock, the 2007 GP2 champion, has contested 37 grands prix for Jordan and Toyota and had to sit out the last three races of 2009 with leg and back injuries.
Full Press Release
TIMO GLOCK TO LEAD MANOR GRAND PRIX DRIVER LINE-UP
The new Manor Grand Prix team, currently preparing for its debut into the FIA Formula One World Championship next season, is delighted to announce that it has chosen Timo Glock to lead its driver line-up.
The announcement is a prelude to the official launch of the team later this year, when Manor Grand Prix expects to reveal more of its plans and car development program. In the meantime the team has been quietly progressing towards its inaugural year of Formula One competition in 2010.
The team’s driver line-up strategy has been to secure a blend of youth and experience and Timo ticks both boxes. The 27 year old German’s Formula One racing career really began in 2008 when he signed for the Toyota F1 Team. Prior to that, as a test driver with Jordan Grand Prix back in 2004, he had been substituted into the race seat for the Canadian Grand Prix and joined the elite group of young drivers who have managed to score points in only their first race. During the past two seasons he has consistently demonstrated his potential and determination, making the most of every opportunity to secure strong qualifying positions, podiums and points finishes.
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
“I'm absolutely delighted that Timo has chosen to drive for our team. It has always been my recommendation that we have at least one driver with experience of the 2009 cars to help our development program, 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. 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. Progress on our new car continues to be very encouraging. The first fully-finished monocoque was completed a week ago, and we've been crash testing all areas of the car since May. I think we'll have the bulk of the official FIA tests done by Christmas, bang on our schedule. Now we just can't wait to get Timo into the new car once track testing begins next year."
“I had several options for 2010, some of them with more established teams. Every driver has the same overall objective - to win the world championship one day - but the way I want to succeed is to be part of the process of building a team and to play a key role in developing the car. This is why the opportunity with Manor Grand Prix is so exciting for me. I have spent a lot of time with Nick Wirth, John Booth and other members of the team and what I liked most is that this a real racing team run by true racers. The team may be small and new but it has big ambitions and a very impressive car and development program. I am confident that I can play a big role in terms of my technical input and that’s a fantastic opportunity for me. I can’t wait to start testing the new car early next year.”