As was the case with his former Toyota team-mate Jarno Trulli last year, Timo Glock finds himself confined to the F1 scrapheap at the expense of the highest-bidding driver.
Marussia today made the not-unexpected announcement that the diminutive German was out on his ear, mere weeks before the 2013 pre-season testing gets underway.
The team had already offered its second race seat to the well-heeled GP2 race-winner Max Chilton, and we have long since predicted that Glock’s position in the team – particularly on the back of three rather ordinary years with the team formerly known as Virgin Racing – was becoming untenable.
Marussia isn’t the first team to open its doors to a paying driver, and in the current economic climate, it won’t be the last either. At least it was honest enough to admit as much.
“The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future,” team principal John Booth said.
“Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, Formula 1 teams included.”
“I would like to wish the team good luck in navigating this next period and thank everyone for the great times we shared and the support I have received,” Glock, a three-time F1 podium finisher, added.
“Although it is not the path I expected to be taking, I am in fact very excited about what the future holds in terms of my own career and I hope to comment on that very soon.”
That announcement could come in less than a week; it is understood that he already has a Mercedes-Benz test session lined up at the end of this week to determine his suitability for the DTM championship.
The team offered no indication as to when it would announce the identity of Chilton’s new team-mate. Marussia is also yet to confirm the launch date of its 2013 F1 challenger.