It's Trulli A Race Against The Glock: Virgin Vs Lotus
Whilst the action at the front of the field features four teams and eight drivers in competition for the title, the battle that interests me the most is one at the back.
In recent years the likes of David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve have surrendered their positions in the spotlight for a potentially more fulfilling ultimatum. They drifted from championship winning cars to teams in need of an experienced driver.
Rookie teams pushing their existence into the sport of Formula 1 required such drivers to thrust them into life.
This year both Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli afforded themselves a similar position.
Transferring from the now defunct Toyota team, both drivers found themselves at new garages and with new back up. Their aim was to gift their knowledge and capability to aid a team in their first footsteps into the sport.
The two had of course spent two seasons in partnership at Toyota.
The first of these seasons saw Timo on the odd occasion perform well, yet he was more commonly outclassed and outpaced by his Italian team mate.
Their second season together though, allowed us to witness a different formula, as Timo gained in confidence and provided an equal competitor to his more established team mate.
Heading into this season, Jarno found himself with an immediately greater advantage.
He has put himself into a team that are indeed deemed a rookie outfit. Yet we all know of the Lotus brand and their previous escapades. These we expected would be utilised to gift the Team Lotus outfit the early opportunities to front the optimum in performance out of all of the new guns.
Timo Glock on the other hand was completely back to basics. He signed for the Virgin Racing team, a team who had no previous Formula 1 experience.
However the lack of a substantial deficit between the two teams is a testament to Virgin Racing’s ability to produce a car capable of competing in future seasons.
It has additionally enabled Timo Glock to edge closer to his former team mate than we would have predicted in the initial stages of the current season.
He managed to beautifully produce a solid lap time in Bahrain, subsequently outperforming qualifying specialist Trulli in the fight for grid position.
The gap was a narrow one tenth of a second, but it overwhelmed both Trulli and his Lotus team.They were not expecting to be challenged so early.
Their redemption was found in Timo’s current team mate Lucas Di Grassi being almost a second adrift, therefore leading us to the conclusion that Timo has performed better than Jarno, as opposed to Virgin performing better than Lotus.
Timo has shown to us the raw talents that we knew he encompassed.
The race sadly was not fruitful for either driver, with both retiring prematurely. So the circus headed to Bahrain where Trulli reinstated his claim to being the most able driver in a rookie team. He outperformed Glock in qualifying. His Lotus team also scored a second consecutive finish for Kovalainen.
The gap between Lotus and Virgin, giving the circumstances though, is not as wide as it should be.
Timo Glock now has the opportunity in Sepang and in the emergence of further Grand Prix of casting a deepening rivalry between himself and his former team mate.
Which one will catch up with the rest of the field first, which driver will claim the first points finish of the season, and which of the two will end the season with greater credibility to their name are all intriguing questions.
First and foremost the teams themselves need to provide their drivers with a car reliable enough to consistently reach the climax of races.
Then they will be rewarded by a duo of drivers in Glock and Trulli who are more than capable of portraying excellence behind the wheel.
They are more able to follow on from Coulthard’s assistance at Red Bull as opposed to Villeneuves lack of substance at BAR.
This is if their team can allow it.
The two talented drivers can get closer to their former grid positions as a result, and their equivocal stance at the end of last season could be recreated once again.
The battle between Lotus and Virgin appears to be in full swing, as both hope to achieve the accomplishment of being the most improved rookie.
Hispania are nowhere near the pace of Virgin and Lotus, and so this highlights the enticing tussle at the back of the field.
We can hopefully rely on this if a procession is what we are given at the front.
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