Virgin Racing suffered more delays to its testing time on the first day at Barcelona on Thursday after Lucas di Grassi crashed the car just before lunch.
The break gave Timo Glock the chance to sit down with AUTOSPORT and talk about life at the new team, his new role as a team leader and his impression of the much talked about CFD-only car design.
Q. From the team with arguably the biggest budget to what they say is the smallest. Tell me about the change.
Timo Glock: For me personally it didn't change much, I'm really happy at the moment to be at Virgin Racing. We had a lot of problems at the first test which I think is normal for a new team. But overall I am happy to be here.
It's definitely a change from Toyota to Virgin, we are much smaller at Virgin but this can be a positive thing. At the moment with all the problems we had at Jerez it's better to have big resources so you can fix problems quicker. But this is our first year so the expectations are quite low.
Q. There are five teams with Cosworth engines. Do you see it as your challenge to be the first of them?
TG: It will be difficult to be stronger than Williams in the first year. Our aim is to be the best of the new teams. That's the first goal. If we could be in front of Williams at the middle of the year or the end of the year it would be great, but I think this is still a bit far away.
Q. At Toyota you were the inexperienced driver in a big team. Now you are the experienced driver in a small team. How have you developed to handle the responsibility of leadership?
TG: For the moment it's a really good opportunity for me. It's good that I can step into a role like this. At Toyota, Jarno with experience was a bit more preferred. Now I feel at home and I have a lot of fun to develop and bring the team forward. It's not a big change for me, I just do my work as I did in the past years.
Sure this is Formula 1 but for me my work doesn't change because I did this already in GP2 and in the last years. I am really happy that I can develop together with the team and engineers but it is a long and a hard way. Jarno is as well in a new team at Lotus so he is in a similar situation.
Q. Do you feel additional responsibility on you?
TG: Sure, there is a little bit of a positive pressure. I'm really comfortable in that situation at the moment with it. I'm happy with it. That's the reason I am looking forward to this year and the future. I hope we can achieve what we all want.
Q. Last year after Suzuka you sat out the remaining races. Did you ever fear that you would not return to Formula 1?
TG: No, not really. I had a lot of good opportunities after Singapore. I was not really worried. Sure, if you have to cancel the last two races it's tough. It's not very nice. But I had good opportunities and I didn't have a strange feeling over the winter or anything.
Q. At Toyota you had the two biggest wind tunnels, here you have just CFD. How do you find the difference with this car?
TG: When I came over to the factory and I saw the different way to develop a Formula 1 car it was a really interesting project. The first time I jumped in the car at the Silverstone Stowe circuit, in the first moment there was a strange feeling. You know it hasn't been in a wind tunnel, it's just CFD. If the computer was in the wrong setting the car could take off after 200km/h, which it didn't!
The first feedback was good, the feeling was okay. So it shows the way of CFD is working. It's a completely different mentality of working and developing the car than by a wind tunnel.
Q. At BMW you had a car that was partially CFD and partly wind tunnel, Toyota was mostly wind tunnel, here it is all CFD. Can you see any differences or similarities between them?
TG: In terms of driving the car, I didn't feel any difference however it was done. The way of operating with CFD is just a bit quicker than wind tunnel time. I know a lot of stuff in the wind tunnel takes quite a lot of time to make the model, test in the tunnel. It goes much quicker with CFD. But we still have to show people that it is definitely working.
So far we haven't had any problems with it, we've had some little updates with aero parts of the car that straight on worked. So that's a positive sign. But when the big steps are coming I think it will be quite interesting to see.
Q. Your relationship with Lucas, you raced against him in GP2, what is that like?
TG: It's good. From the first moment when we spent some time in England together and did a lot of work in the simulator it was pretty good. He has a lot of experience from Renault and I think as a team we work quite well together.
Q. And your relationship with the rest of the team?
TG: Very good. We have a lot of fun. I don't know why but I feel quite happy with English guys. I was already at iSport in GP2. I am really happy here, good people, a lot of experience. Even in the hard times like we had at Jerez everyone has still the motivation and is working as hard as possible.
Q. There is a problem with the car again, some form of technical issue. Does that worry you as the season gets closer?
TG: It was clear that we would not have a smooth running in the winter tests and it would be quite difficult for the first race maybe. We had to wait again for some parts for the car. But this is the normal procedure for a new team. It is a bit frustrating sometimes for everyone if you can't do the plan like you want to do it. But we have to go through that and the better times will come.