MARUSSIA Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock has expressed his concerns about the car the Dinnington-based team will take to Melbourne next week for the first grand prix of the 2011 season.
The German driver fears they will not be quick enough to reach the second phase of qualifying (Q2) on a regular basis or compete with the established midfield runners.
“At the moment, looking at the tests, that will be difficult in the first couple of races,” he said.
“I think we will have to wait for the bigger upgrade which comes to Turkey (the first European race in May) where everyone will bring an update.
“As far as I see it at the tests, we are still away from the midfield teams and (getting to) Q2 will be difficult.
“Especially Toro Rosso picked up quite a lot of speed over the winter and they look very strong. Sauber as well. They were all the teams where I thought we could catch up a bit more but they made quite a big step and we still have to make a big one.”
Glock is adamant he will be fit for the curtain-raiser in Australia on March 27 despite recently having surgery to remove his appendix.
“I feel okay,” he said. “All good. I’m back in training a bit, got the stitches out on Friday and went straight on the bike on Saturday and Sunday.It felt all right. The muscle is still a bit stiff and that takes a while but I think I should be back at my (usual) fitness levels in Australia. I’m not worrying because I trained quite hard over the winter.”
Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has committed his future to Red Bull Racing by signing a new contract through to the end of 2014. The deal ends speculation linking the 23-year-old German driver to Ferrari and Mercedes.