Glock salutes F1 minnows Virgin

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TIMO Glock lauded the work ethic of Dinnington-based outfit Marussia Virgin Racing after finishing in 19th position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Glock, who also qualified 19th on Saturday, climbed up three places on the first lap before eventually sliding down the grid.

His two-stop strategy saw him come ahead of rival Vitantonio Liuzzi in the HRT Hispania at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The German racer said: “Overall it was quite a good race. I had a strong start, the speed was not too bad and I was in front of a couple of quicker guys, even though in the end they caught us up.

“In the end I got the best out of the car even though I have to say it was a bit difficult with the last set of tyres because the medium compound combined with all the blue flags made it difficult to get them up to temperature. But it was a good race and the team did a good job.”

After suffering a problem with his front brakes, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Glock’s team-mate, was forced to retire on lap 18.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton crossed the chequered flag in first ahead of Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Jenson Button (McLaren).

Meanwhile, Virgin’s sporting director Graeme Lowdon has assured the team’s sponsors that Sir Richard Branson will remain a key presence in the future despite the recently-announced name change.

“I think he identifies with a lot of the challenges we have had, that we’re quite an entrepreneurial team, and we were a start-up business. We’re in the realm of areas that interest him,” said Lowdon. “He actively helps our sponsors in whatever they are looking for, so that won’t change at all under this new arrangement.”