Timo Glock has signed to race for BMW in the DTM in 2013, having been forced to give up his Formula 1 career because the Marussia F1 team needed money and had no choice but to ask him to settle his contract early and allow them to find a driver who could pay enough to top up the team’s 2013 budget, while also covering Glock’s pay-off.
The choice of drivers at Marussia is now down to money, although the decision seems to depend on who can get to a certain amount, rather than who is the first to get to that amount. This seems to be the same policy as had been adopted by Caterham and perhaps also by Force India, which would explain why all three are in no apparent hurry to announce their driver line-ups for 2013. It is, as I have previously reported, a buyer’s market and the onus is on the drivers who are rushing about looking for sponsorships and bank guarantees to get themselves into an F1 car, or to keep an F1 seat, is some cases. One should add that not all the sponsors that have been kicking around in the past want to switch allegiance to lesser teams, while there are also strategic elements involved in some cases, as Bernie Ecclestone, for example, would like to see drivers from the booming BRIC economies so as to maximise the earning potential for the sport in these markets. Teams too have strategic goals as well, depending on the business they are in, both it is fair to say that Marussia, for example, might benefit most in marketing terms by having a Russian driver; while Caterham might prefer to have an Asian. In the end, they all have budgets that they are aiming to achieve and so they will make a decision either when time runs out or when they have a driver (and a budget) that they are satisfied with.