Glock lavishes praise on ‘fantastic’ fans

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HOME favourite Timo Glock hailed the “fantastic” German fans who spurred the Marussia Virgin Racing driver on during free practice one and two yesterday.

Glock, who is expected to extend his contract shortly with Virgin, took full advantage of the cool conditions in his home grand prix, completing 55 laps of the Nürburgring circuit across the two sessions.

Both Glock and his team-mate, Jerome d’Ambrosio, focused on engine and aero mapping tests in the morning session. The duo tried out different set-up directions from the information Virgin had gleaned at the straight line test at RAF Cottesmore in England last week. In total, Glock achieved 23 laps while d’Ambrosio managed one less.

But, on option tyres in the afternoon run-out, Glock went around the track 32 times while d’Ambrosio added another 33 to his tally.

Glock said: “I think the second session was reasonable for us. I’m not 100 per cent happy but I think it was a good start to the weekend.

“I felt comfortable in the car and I’m very happy to be in Germany and racing at home in front of the fantastic German fans.”

D’Ambrosio, in his first year in Formula One having replaced Lucas di Grassi last December, concedes he still has to “fine-tune” certain elements of his driving style to flourish in Germany but declared himself “pretty happy” with the data Virgin collected from the free practice sessions.

Now the young Belgian racer is bidding to push Glock hard in qualifying today.

“It was a smooth Friday, certainly in comparison to Silverstone where we were disturbed by the weather,” he said.

John Booth, the team principal of the F1 strugglers, said Virgin acquired more data than they “would normally achieve” on a Friday and was hopeful the team could apply the modifications to the MRV-02 cars overnight.

At the top of the grid, it was Red Bull’s Mark Webber who topped the timesheets in second practice while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who finished on top of the podium at the British GP, set the fastest time in the morning run-out.