Timo Glock has acknowledged that Virgin finishing tenth in this year’s constructors’ world championship is very unlikely.
None of F1’s new teams have come close to scoring a point so far this season.
But Heikki Kovalainen’s 13th place finish in Australia in late March means Lotus is currently tenth, ahead of fellow non-scorers Lotus and HRT.
Apart from special new team bonuses promised by Bernie Ecclestone, the sport’s commercial prize-money pool is shared between only the top ten teams, based on their ranking in the constructors’ championship.
It means the new teams this year are battling for literally millions in additional and crucial funding.
“It is an innovative structure, and if you do well on the track then you get very well rewarded,” Virgin’s team chief executive Graeme Lowdon admitted earlier this year.
So confident was main sponsor Sir Richard Branson at the start of 2010, he agreed with Tony Fernandes – boss of the rival Lotus team – that the loser should spend a fully-uniformed day as a stewardess on the other’s airline.
“I think Tony will be fetching as a Virgin stewardess,” billionaire Branson said last weekend.
“I think he is making an outfit for me as well,” he confirmed.
But according to lead driver Timo Glock, he thinks it unlikely the Virgin team will be able to dislodge Lotus from the coveted tenth position by recording a twelfth place finish in one of the remaining races.
“It will be very difficult,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“Maybe if there’s a crazy wet race or something like that. Otherwise I don’t see any chance,” he added.
Stewardess or not, Branson said he remains committed to formula one for now, and sounded bullish about 2011.
“Our staff are looking for new sponsors for next season, so there will be less room (on the car) for Virgin,” the Briton is quoted by France’s Auto Hebdo.
© RIF | GMM