Reaped fruit and moments of anger
For Timo Glock, the 2017 DTM season was the most successful one in his career to date. The BMW driver finished seventh in the championship, thus securing the best result in the five years of the popular touring-car series’ grid. Furthermore, the 35-year old also made for headlines – inter alia – with the so-called ‘The Finger’ affair. In the conversation with DTM.com, Glock discloses the reasons for his upswing and says why he doesn’t regret certain things.
In the four previous DTM seasons you finished 9th, 16th, 15th and 10th in the championship. Now you came seventh. Your season conclusion certainly will be positive, won’t it?
I definitely had a good season. I had a positive feeling right after my switch to Team RMG and this assessment was confirmed in the 2017 season. I progressed as I had hoped for. I was a title contender for a long time and always was one of the fastest BMW drivers. It was a consistently good season and that was important for me. I won the Saturday race at Zandvoort, secured three poles and by finishing second at Budapest as well as second and third at Hockenheim I added another three podiums to my tally.
How do you explain your improved competitiveness in 2017?
The main reason was the intense collaboration with my data engineer and my team, RMG. We consequently continued our way as we learned a lot in our first joint year. And in 2017 things went even better. It goes without saying that there were races where we could have scored more points. I also occasionally made a mistake.
And there was a period of time that proved to be somewhat difficult for us. But basically you can say we were clearly more successful when it came to reaping the fruit of our collaboration, in the second year. I always was provided a car that had what it takes to score points. And that’s extremely important in DTM.
It was a crazy season for you: you made it to the headlines with your achievements but on the Sunday of the Zandvoort meeting you gave the Mercedes pits the finger after an alleged obstruction by Edoardo Mortara. Or on the Sunday at the Nürburgring you smashed into the rear of Nico Müller’s Audi and were booked for having caused this incident. Would do some of these things again or would you say ‘This won’t happen to me a second time?’
You can’t plan these things. They just happen in the heat of the battle. At Zandvoort I definitely had the chance of securing good results on Saturday and Sunday. And in this situation, if you are hampered twice when you’re on the way to secure a top-three position on the grid it just can happen that you burst with anger. And that’s exactly what happened to me. But I learned my lesson. While I arguably would do it again at the Nürburgring. I can’t see what I should have done wrong, there. Yes, the one who causes rear-end collision always is responsible. But if you are driving behind somebody who knows how to race you just don’t expect him to all of a sudden brake 15 or 20 metres earlier. And this even could be proven by the data. In this case, I just was trapped by Nico Müller. That’s what happened and there was nothing I could do about it.
Finishing seventh was more than respectable. Could you have secured an even better result if you had done some things differently?
Absolutely. On the Sunday at Zandvoort I definitely could have made to the top three. That would have been several points more. And there were three or four other races. At the Nürburgring, a pit stop cost us three or four seconds and the same happened at Moscow. So, I could have finished fifth or sixth instead of 10th.And these are the points we lacked in the end. But looking back doesn’t help. We just have to do better, in the future.
If you tot up the points scored in the Saturday races you are the best DTM driver. Does this ‘Saturday Championship’ have any meaning for you. What is its significance?
It demonstrates that I had the pace and was able to battle it out for the title. In the Sunday I often lacked the necessary dose of bad luck. But you have to focus on the positive things: you can see that were good enough for winning the title. At the same time it’s difficult to say why things went better for us on the Saturdays. Arguably because of minor mistakes we made on Sunday or the pit stops that went wrong.
What do you hope to achieve in the 2018 DTM season?
I hope that I will be as competitive as this year. And that I can keep racing for RMG – but I’m optimistic in this area. And then we will have to wait and see. My goal: to once again consistently make it to the top five. And I’ll try to achieve this goal.