Timo Glock will almost certainly sit out Sunday’s European grand prix.
The German sat out qualifying on Saturday, and according to multiple media sources he was travelling to a local hospital for checks whilst his usual rivals were in action on the Valencia street circuit. Marussia has described the 30-year-old’s ailment as a “stomach bug”, but sources say he could be suffering from either food poisoning or a virus.
Bild newspaper said he will “almost certainly” not race on Sunday, even though the FIA has said that despite him missing qualifying, he will be allowed to compete subject to a medical green light.
But the German publication said doctors have in fact advised Glock to sit out Valencia, particularly as over the past few days, his body has been unable to retain many fluids.
Sunday in the Spanish port city is expected to be hot and dry.
Marussia’s test driver Maria de Villota does not have a mandatory FIA super license.
Red Bull reserve Sebastien Buemi told Auto Motor und Sport he offered to race in Glock’s place, but Marussia will in fact contest the European grand prix with only one car in the event Glock is not fit to return.
“Our objective for Sunday’s race, whatever it may hold, will simply be to do the best job possible in the circumstances,” said team boss John Booth.
HRT could finally be on the cusp of speeding off the final row of the F1 grid. Clearly the slowest team in F1 since its 2010 debut, the Spanish backmarkers’ Pedro de la Rosa actually qualified clearly ahead of both Marussia drivers in Canada.
“In Monaco we had a good qualifying and here it was even better,” he said.
It was a similar story in the race, although de la Rosa was gutted to have to retire with overheating brakes.
“I am left with a bad taste,” he admitted to Antena 3 television, “because this weekend has been our strongest of the season.”
Marussia’s Glock commented on the poor pace of his car in Canada: “We did not have enough time to focus on an aero package for medium downforce,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari, however, thinks Montreal might have signalled a turning point for HRT. Asked if he thinks the team will consistently perform better from now on, the Spaniard told AS newspaper: “Why not?
“The work they are doing is admirable. They are growing every weekend and now more competitive than Marussia, so I would like to send them a message of support.”
Marussia needs a KERS system to catch up with its direct rivals. That is the admission of team boss John Booth, who told the Russian website championat.com that he is looking into adding the energy recovery technology to next year’s Marussia package.
“First of all, I want to say that while it is said it (KERS) is a ‘green’ technology, in reality it’s just a serious waste of money,” he said. “But in our situation it’s time to start thinking seriously about KERS. Of the gap to Caterham, five or six tenths is due to KERS. So we are thinking seriously about it for 2013, but so far there is no decision.”
Both admitted the start of the 2012 season has been a disappointment so far for Marussia, which in its first two years was called Virgin. He said the team has recently completed a phase of serious restructuring.
“We had a good team of people before, but now we have a good team of designers. Though we have been in F1 for three years, I have the feeling that we were actually born in July 2011.”
Both is undoubtedly referring to the split mid last year with former technical chief Nick Wirth, and the relocation to a new headquarters.