Paul Jackson and Timo Glock talk about their 2007 championship seasons
GP2 Series: Paul I'll start with you. Three years into the GP2 adventure you've finally won both titles, what does it mean to you personally and to the team as a whole?
Paul Jackson: It means a lot to all of us, whether it's me personally or any individual in the team. Everyone puts maximum effort into it and we feel that a lot and we're very passionate about it, so everybody is ready to celebrate. It's been a long time coming, we've had a lot of tough opposition, but finally this year we've made it. It feels good.
GP2 Series: It's the culmination of a lot of work for a lot of the guys. I think some people don't quite realise how hard the guys work. Give me, from your point of view, how hard the team has worked over the last three years to get to where you are today.
Paul: OK. Well I mean if you start at the very beginning, we were probably nine months to a year in preparation of starting the team, so we were trying to get the right people together, trying to get some backing and all of those things that you need to get it off the ground. And then once we got started there's always a steep learning curve when you have a new car and a new group of people to bring together and turn them into a unit. Lots of lots of hours of planning go into that. Then on the physical work side, the mechanics just work... whatever you ask them to do, they do it. There's been recent examples where at Monza the guys worked through a straight 38 hours, not only to rebuild a damaged car but to put Timo's car on the grid in a position to win the race as well. I can't speak highly enough of all the guys in the team. Without them it's not possible. Likewise the engineers who spend so many hours back in the office studying the data, working out simulations, making plans, and all of that's now paid off and its a tribute to all of them.
GP2 Series: Thanks Paul. Timo, tell us your thoughts on Paul and the guys at iSport.
Timo Glock: It's like what I said in the press conference. It was just something special when I came for the first time in Silverstone. We went into Northampton in a Chinese restaurant, had dinner and talked for the first time, and after that it felt like we'd been working together for years. It was a special moment. Then the first time I drove out of the pits in Silverstone and turned the first corner I knew it was the car I could win in. I could show everybody what I can do, and from that point on I had some special moments like the test at Paul Ricard where we just worked our ass off to get the car right for a race distance and try to fine tune it for my driving style. When I came back from the test I said straight away we're going to win the race in Magny Cours, and that was clear for me because I had such a perfect feeling for it, and it worked out. Through the whole year it was just perfect moments like Hockenheim. The whole second half of the year.
This year we started to work over the winter and I could just feel that everybody wanted the championship and they worked so hard. The engineers and me had phone calls over the winter to find how we could fine tune the car. It was something special and I learned so much for myself in terms of working with a team and bringing everybody behind you and this year was just a really special year. We knew we had the chance to win the championship, we were 18 points in the lead and the media and everyone said it would be easy and we would win the championship and I said every time 'No, wait until the last race is over' and then it came like I said it would.
But in these bad moments, the team went up another step. Every time we had a negative moment we took something positive out of it and came back even harder and the mechanics, as Paul said, worked so hard in Istanbul, in Monza, to bring the cars back again.
And can I just say that one thing that makes a team strong is when you have a strong team-mate like Andi [Zuber]. He is on the pace, he's really quick, he had bad luck in the beginning of the year and I think he was a bit de-motivated in the last races because he couldn't get it back. He was a reference point for me because he was so quick in testing and for me testing and racing are something different. I try to do my work on the test and in qualifying it counts, but we pushed each other every time, step by step and he did a perfect job. We worked together as a team and when we raced it worked out... not every time like in Magny-Cours [laughs] but it usually worked out.
GP2 Series: You've had one of the most unusual careers of pretty much any racing driver I can think of. Strong in F3, bizarrely into F1 for various reasons, over to champcar, you took a BIG gamble to come to GP2. What does it mean to you, 18 months down the line to have won this championship?
Timo: That situation was so difficult. I've worked together with my manager now for seven years and some people don't know him because he's in the background and that's something else that put the team together, that my manager was not working against the team and wants the lowest budget or whatever. We said what it is and we found a way and that's the team: my manager, me and everybody. A couple of years ago it was just tough. I thought maybe I would have to start a career in America and forget F1, but at the end we found a backer and said OK, we have to find a way to go to GP2 or find the right team and just gamble a little bit, put everything on one card. In the beginning it seemed like the wrong decision, but when we joined iSport it was the right decision. We never said we make the wrong the decisions and we never say we make the right decisions but we take every time from the decision something out of it, we learn something and we will do it in a different way or better next time and in the end it's just the perfect combination.
GP2 Series: And of course it's landed you with a test driver role at BMW Sauber and possibly even more than that. How important in getting to F1 is it to be in GP2?
Timo: I think the last few years showed what GP2 is, and what a strong championship it is. With Nico and Lewis both making their way up to F1, Heikki Kovalainen, Scott Speed, I think it's just the perfect situation for me to be GP2 Champion. Sure I'm already in F1 as a test driver but I want the next step and that's a race cockpit and I hope this helps a little bit.