With rumours continuing to persist that Timo Glock might be looking to move on from his role at the Virgin Racing outfit, it comes at an interesting time, with news emerging that Argentine driver Esteban Guerrieri (pictured) has been in discussions with the outfit about a possible 2011 drive.
Former GP2 champion and Toyota podium-finisher Timo Glock has a secure two-year deal with the tail-end Manor Motorsport operated outfit, but he himself has expressed interest in occupying the potentially vacant seat at Renault alongside Robert Kubica next year.
Despite having recently downplayed suggestions that he was looking to jump ship from Virgin, he has also tellingly admitted that being a backmarker hasn’t been a bed of roses either.
“It is no secret that it is not easy to be at the back,” he is quoted by the DPA news agency. “If I didn’t think [I could succeed in F1], and did not do everything I can to make it a reality, then I would not belong in the premier class of motor racing.”
With such telling comments, the timing of Guerrieri’s talks with the team are indeed interesting.
What makes it even more interesting is that none other than the Argentine government – who were the principal backers in José María López’s deal with the abortive USF1 outfit – could be set to bankroll the 25-year-old Guerrieri’s possible foray into F1.
The Argentine media is reporting that Guerrieri’s manager, Julio Gutierrez, met with Virgin boss John Booth, in addition to the Formula Renault driver meeting with the nation’s interior minister.
“It was a very good meeting,” Gutierrez said. “The minister expressed his intention to collaborate so that Esteban can reach Formula One.”
Guerrieri is certainly talking up his prospects, and added: “I think the time is right to try [F1]. I have an invitation from the Virgin team and we’re working on it, because in principle to get one of their seats we need to have about $8M.
“There should be developments within September, and the [deadline] would be November,” he added.
While Guerrieri has plenty of experience behind the wheel, his CV is far from glittering. Since 2004, he has competed in second-tier championships and yo-yo’d between Formula 3000, GP2, Formula 3, Formula Renault and the SuperLeague Formula championships, never placing better than fourth overall in any of these championships. He currently lies fourth overall in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship series standings, having picked up three wins to-date.
Is his form finally on the up-swing, or is he simply another Argentine pay-driver – hello to Oscar Larrauri, Esteban Tuero and Gaston Mazzacane – that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the last two decades?
[Original images via AUTOSPORT]