Timo Glock (39): It was clear to me that it would be a change. In general, I think there were a lot of points where we weren’t positioned well enough. At the beginning there were some problems with the Space Drive System (steering without mechanical connection; d. Red.). In retrospect, we simply underestimated that with regard to the integration in the BMW M6. We had good racing speeds at the Lausitz and Nürburgring, and my 24-hour race in Spa was also very good. That shows that I understand how to drive a GT3. And I am also convinced that the results have nothing – as one or the other might think – to do with age …
Exactly! I’ll be the first to say: That’s enough when I notice: I’m just not fast enough anymore. But I’m definitely not at that point. I’ve shown that in one or two races.
Would you really notice it yourself when age strikes in the racing car?
Yes, in any case. It’s about the reaction time or some situations that you just can’t assess correctly. You notice that very well. We just had a lot of weekends that were very unhappy. I know that from 2019, when things went just as badly. No matter what step you take, you always end up in a bucket full of shit.
Back then, she was very upset in 2019. How are you now
2019 was really difficult. But then there are also things that you learn from and that you take with you. Of course I would prefer to be in the front, but luck just wasn’t on our side this year.
You came to the DTM from Formula 1 in 2013 to win again. How much do you miss that darn DTM title?
If the prerequisites are not right, you can turn yourself upside down and it will not do any good. Of course I would be happy if I could win the title, but everything has to be just right for that. The chance is much better next year with the new car (BMW M4 GT3; d. Ed.). The M4 is a step in the right direction in all areas.
So do you want to continue with BMW in 2022?
I’m in talks with BMW and we both want it to continue. In what way still has to show up.
But there are also other options, which of course I will also look at.
How do you rate the GT3 DTM in general?
There was no other alternative! Sure: the old cars are missing, they were aggressive, different. On the other hand, we now have many different makes. Where one door closes, another opens. What the future of motorsport looks like in general is the bigger question mark for me anyway. For example, how is e-racing received by the fans?
Would the electric DTM be an issue for you?
If I still drive then I would definitely give it a try. But I have to admit: I have a hard time racing without sound. In old Formula 1 cars your hair stands on end when a bullet like that drives by, makes noise and is fast. The DTM Electric cars are probably also fast, which is why I approach the subject openly. But the pace also has to be right.
Your friend Sebastian Vettel is strongly committed to environmental protection. How much does his commitment match that of a racing driver?
Fortunately, we live in a society where everyone can express their opinion. You can also say what is important to you. So you shouldn’t criticize Sebastian if he expresses his opinion as a public person, gets involved and wants to wake people up. Just as he shouldn’t criticize anyone who disagrees. As a racing driver you could of course also say: It is not consistent on the one hand to plead for sustainability, but on the other hand to move a racing car in a circle. But everyone has to decide for themselves.
Here, too, it’s up to you. Maybe I would act differently and not rush ahead. Nevertheless, I understand the approach, especially from Lewis, who of course has an incredible range and a different drive, as he had to experience a lot firsthand.
Were you surprised by Vettel’s contract extension given his criticism of Formula 1?
Again: It seems that Sebastian’s values no longer match those of Formula 1. I can imagine that the creators and some fans don’t like that. On the other hand: what should they do? Forbid him to shut up? Certainly not. Seb has achieved too much for that.
Vettel has also been said to be too old …
I don’t think so much now (laughs). Of course there were one or two mistakes in the past. But those were just external circumstances at Ferrari that narrow you down, where you are no longer so free in your head. I am convinced that if he has the right car, he can continue to compete in the front.
How do you like the duel Verstappen vs. Hamilton for the title?
It doesn’t get any better than that. I am very curious to see who will have the longer breath in the end. So if you can keep the error rate as low as possible, because that’s what will ultimately count – also for the teams. To finally see Mercedes under pressure from Red Bull has something. Before that, they always had a cushion. Then you can afford to make a mistake. They can no longer do that now. I’m happy to be able to comment on the last five races on Sky.
Lewis never shows to the outside that he’s under pressure. He knows very well how to come across as serene. Surely he also knows: When he puts on the helmet, it depends. But he found a way to look relaxed and cool. But Max Verstappen has done it well so far. He made a giant leap for me, has become much clearer, much more controlled in many ways. Two years ago, in a situation like the Monza crash, he would probably have opened Lewis’ helmet and kicked him in. Now he leaves it on the left and thinks: See how you get out of there.
Very good. If you look back, it always took him a year in every series to adjust to a new car and the championship. He quickly succeeded in doing this in the very complex Formula 1. Of course, he put the car into the guardrail one time or another, but that’s part of it. His car is not easy to drive, which is precisely why he is doing a very solid job and is not lured by his team-mate Mazepin from his reserve. He also gives his opinion, but always in a very controlled manner.
You recently requested a suspension for Mazepin due to his driving style too hard.
It doesn’t have to be a ban, but there just has to be a consequence in the form of a penalty. You shouldn’t underestimate the speed. If someone comes from behind – like in Sochi with Yuki Tsunoda and open DRS – and you make a move like that at the last second, then it can happen that the man behind you gets up and goes flying. That just can’t happen.
Race director Michael Masi, on the other hand, said that Mazepin would not attract any more negative attention than others.
I do think that he makes a lot of mistakes. Sure, if he spins on his own, it doesn’t hurt anyone, but there are also situations with blue flags that he doesn’t assess well enough in my opinion. At some point it will go wrong and then you stand there and say: If only we had reacted earlier.
Fernando Alonso has made a very successful comeback. How do you rate his performance?
Outstanding! From the first meter the approach was typically Alonso. Is not considerate of anything, goes a merciless way. He was perfectly prepared physically and is extremely strong mentally. He just shows very good races. I have the greatest respect for that.
Last question: have you seen the documentary “Schumacher” on Netflix?
Yes. It was very emotional. Especially the last quarter of an hour. I had a very good relationship with Michael. I had to bite my teeth.