Former F1 driver Timo Glock has revealed it was “political games” that ended his first stint in Formula 1, after making his debut with Jordan.
German racing driver Timo Glock has revealed how he believed his F1 career was over almost before it started because he lost a seat with Jordan for 2005.
Glock had signed on with Jordan as a test driver for 2004, taking part in his first practice sessions with the team at the start of the year, only to be called up to race for the team at the Grand Prix. from Canada.
Appearing on the Podcast Beyond the GridGlock went into detail about a particularly turbulent time in his racing career when he was about to have to return to his family’s construction business.
Glock has revealed how the relationships made through his “day job” helped him progress in motorsport as he moved closer to F1.
“My dad has a scaffolding business,” he told host Tom Clarkson.
“In F3, when I came back from an F3 race on Sunday evening – on Monday I had to report to the company and work. It kept me grounded, which was good.
“With the scaffolding company, we worked at Pirelli in Germany. So, thanks to that, we got to know the sporting director of Pirelli Germany, and he made us a contract with my manager at the time, who supported me then, throughout my career in Formula BMW, in F3 and in F1. He had a link with Deutsche Post, who sponsored Jordan, so that was all the link to get through and get the support up to F1.”
Timo Glock has his chance with Jordan
Rules at the time allowed the last six teams in the 2003 Constructors’ Championship to use a third car in practice, which inevitably turned into a battle between the test drivers as they tried to pick up the attention of their bosses – an opportunity that pilots these days simply do not have.
“It definitely helped me a lot,” Glock explained.
“First of all, learning the tracks, learning how to work with the team, driving the cars in different configurations, high fuel qualifying mode, low fuel qualifying mode, etc. So it was really a very good tool and help for young drivers who showed this talent. Is it still possible today? I don’t know.
“Now you have simulators, which are almost as good as the real world, but it’s not the same. It’s a different scenario if you’re in a real car on a real track on a weekend racing – that’s a totally different scenario, for the youngsters it would be nice to do a few laps on a race weekend right next to the big guys.
But, heading for Montreal, Glock had to have the opportunity to run. Jordan’s full-time racing driver, Giorgio Pantano, was sidelined by Eddie Jordan following a financial disagreement, thrusting Glock into the limelight.
“I got the call Saturday morning, standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth and looking on my cell phone,” he said.
“It’s Eddie Jordan calling me and typical Eddie said, ‘Come on the track. You have to race.
“‘What do you mean I need to run?’ “You are going to replace Giorgio, you are going to drive this weekend”.
“I don’t really remember what happened that day because everything happened so fast. I just tried to do the best I could. Next thing I know I finished eleventh, then four cars were disqualified and Eddie took me out because I scored two points!
“Eddie took me out to dinner and he was the happiest man because points mean a lot of money for the team. Another highlight was standing next to Norbert Haug from Mercedes at the time, and Michael [Schumacher] and his wife, Corinna, having a drink in Montreal – it was an unreal weekend for me.
“It’s been a whole year of great fun with Eddie Jordan. I mean, he’s a character. He’s a really good guy. He tells you the truth. If you really make a mistake, he’ll kick your ass. There’s nothing wrong with that – he’s direct.
Glock, however, would not have any more opportunities until the end of the season. With the return of Pantano for the United States Grand PrixGlock returned to his previous role until called upon to replace the departing Pantano for the final three races of the year.
Timo Glock is a victim of F1’s ‘Piranha Club’
Despite open cockpits at Jordan, Glock was not expected to land a seat for 2005 as the team changed hands. Eddie Jordan sold the team to the Midland Group, although they continued to race under the Jordan name until 2006. It was due to this turbulent financial period that Glock believes he simply didn’t never had the chance to get priority over eventual signings Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan.
“Yes, it was the very first time I was involved in these political games,” he said, as he was forced to find an alternative path – Glock would leave F1 to move to Champcar and GP2 before returning to F1.
“Eddie showed up in China, where there was talk about another driver who could take over, and then it was like, ‘yes if you bring me more money, let’s say you can have the seat ‘ And so on.
“So there were political games going on and then the team was sold moving from 2004 to 2005 to Midland, so the owners had different views and wanted to have different drivers with a financial background. ‘s what I didn’t have. So I had to take a different route through America, doing Champcar, which was another great year for me. But it was hard to accept that it wasn’t. It’s not the talent, it’s more the money.
“I knew before it was part of Formula 1, but being right in the middle of the game like that is a different scenario. It’s not just talent, it’s political stuff and financial training that you must have at some point.
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