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Booth: Timo is one of the top eight drivers out there

NEWS STORY
24/09/2011

Virgin boss John Booth is convinced that Timo Glock is one of the best drivers on the F1 grid.

Speaking to Pitpass' Mat Coch in Singapore at the end of a typically difficult opening day, team boss Booth sung the praises of his German driver.

"There's two things," said the Yorkshireman. "One he's bloody good - for me, he's one of the top eight drivers out there, if not higher than that - and he's come from a quite rarefied atmosphere of teams.

"He came and talked to us in London and within a day he made his mind up that he wanted to be part of what we're trying to do," he continued. "And he's never wavered from that. I know that throughout the rumours last year I was never concerned on a personal level, on a one-to-one level. I know some times he'd been quoted as saying things when he was a bit emotional getting out of the car, but on a one-to-one level his commitment has never wavered. It says a lot about the fella.

"Obviously he's young but he wants to see the job through. If you look at things like here last year, that first session, he managed to get past Schumacher and hold him up. When conditions are a bit levelling he comes to the fore. He always gives 100%. In tough situations he always gives 100%. We're very lucky to have him."

Reflecting on a day which saw his German star clash with Mark Webber, Booth admitted: "It was quite frustrating this morning, or this afternoon or tonight - whatever time it is - FP1. It was pretty frustrating for Timo after the clash with Mark meant that we didn't really want to waste any FP2 tyres in FP1 so after twenty minutes we had to curtail proceedings.

"It was much better in FP2. We didn't quite get a run on the new tyres because of the Buemi red flag, but I'm sure there were quite a few people affected by that.

"It looks okay for tomorrow," he continued. "Jerome was a bit frustrating in the afternoon. He did some damage as he ran wide over one of the kerbs which seems to have caused him more damage than last year.

"I don't understand," he admitted, referring to a subject which everyone is talking about this weekend. "There were the same kerbs last year, so I don't understand what the problem was. But anyway, he ran over one of the kerbs and damaged the floor and broke a wing. We changed the wing but the floor we repaired, but it was never optimal performance. He didn't really have a run on the supersoft tyres at all."

Asked about d'Ambrosio - who in Pitpass' opinion has been one of the revelations of the season - Booth said: "He's been pretty much faultless. He's accepted that most times Timo's been quicker than him and taken it on the chin and wants to learn from it. He's also a great team guy as well. He enjoys being around the people, people feel very comfortable with him. Sometimes the second driver has to get the rough end of the stick, sometimes with long tyre runs or what have you, but he never ever grumbles. He's such a young fellow and experience shows he's a real team player."

However, when asked about the team's line-up for next season, the Yorkshireman wasn't quite so forthcoming. "Timo's signed for three more years, which is great for the team that he's shown that amount of faith in what we're trying to build.

"We've got an embarrassment of riches at the moment," he admitted, "Jerome's done a brilliant job, and Robert (Wickens) is knocking on the door very hard isn't he? We've got an embarrassment of riches, so we're not making any decisions until the end of the year I would think."

With rain forecast for today and tomorrow, Mat asked Booth if he would be happy to see the odd downpour or two. "Of course it creates opportunities," he replied. "It's half and half, it's real Timo territory. Of course with a street circuit with water on the ground, obviously it's a recipe for disaster as well. As well as giving you a chance you have to be mindful that it could also go terribly wrong."

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