Timo Glock to race for Panasonic Toyota Racing in 2008
Timo, the reigning GP2 Series champion, has signed a multi-year contract and the team hopes an agreement can be reached with BMW Sauber to allow him to test at Jerez on December 4-6.
Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina said: "It is with great pleasure that we confirm Timo Glock will race for Panasonic Toyota Racing in 2008. I am convinced Timo has the potential to help this team move forward and achieve its aims.
"Timo has great experience of motorsport in several different categories and he reinforced his reputation by winning the highly competitive GP2 Series, which we have already seen is fantastic preparation for Formula 1. He has demonstrated a fighting spirit and good race craft in GP2 so we believe he is the right man for the job."
Timo said: "It’s a great feeling to be a Formula 1 race driver again and I am really looking forward to this new challenge. I have worked hard over the past few years to get this opportunity and I must say I am grateful to Panasonic Toyota Racing for having faith in me.
"From what I have seen of the team at the track I am confident we will be able to work well together to move forward. Even though I have not raced in Formula 1 since 2004, I have tested quite regularly so I expect it will take very little time for me to get back in the groove.
"I have been lucky enough to race and succeed in several different championships in my career but my goal has always been to become a full-time Formula 1 race driver. I believe this experience has made me stronger as a driver and as a person.
"Of course, to return to Formula 1 racing as GP2 Series champion is a real honour and we’ve all seen how well Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have performed as champions so that is very encouraging. I hope I can also make a strong impression next season.
"Now I have achieved my goal of returning to Formula 1, my next target is to work towards making 2008 a successful season for myself and Panasonic Toyota Racing."
The 25-year-old German is, like his new team, relatively young but has a wealth of different experience behind him since taking his first steps into the world of motorsport as a 15-year-old in karts.
After just two years of kart racing he stepped up to single-seaters and enjoyed an impressive rise through the ranks to Formula 1, via ADAC Formula BMW and Formula 3. At just 22 he was a Grand Prix racer with an unexpected Jordan debut in Canada in 2004, where he joined an exclusive list of drivers to score points in their first race, thanks to his seventh place.
Three more races followed at the end of the season before a switch to the United States for 2005, where he marked himself out as a rising star by taking Rookie of the Year honours, with a best finish of second, coincidentally also in Montreal.
However, the lure of Formula 1 was too great and he returned to prove his credentials in GP2. That looked a wise move this year when he came out on top of a tough title battle and he follows previous champions Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton into a full-time Formula 1 race drive.
Timo Glock Profile
Born: 18 March 1982 – Lindenfels, Germany
Marital status: Single
Hobbies: Karting, fitness
GP debut Canada 2004
GPs started 4
Pole positions 0
Best championship result 19th (2004)
1998: Began his motorsport career aged 15, racing in karts.
2000: ADAC Formula BMW Junior Cup: 1st
2001: ADAC Formula BMW: 1st
2002: German Formula 3 Championship: 3rd (Rookie of the Year)
2003: Formula 3 Euro Series: 5th (3 wins)
2004: Formula 1 – Jordan: Test driver/race driver
2005: Champ Car World Series: 8th (Rookie of the Year)
2006: GP2 Series: 4th (2 wins)
2007: GP2 Series: 1st (5 wins)
Formula 1 – BMW Sauber: Test driver