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Glock thrilled after gamble pays off

Timo Glock was delighted after a tyre gamble paid off handsomely and propelled him to a superb third-place finish in the shortened Malaysian Grand Prix.

A tardy start saw the German drop from third to eighth on the opening lap, but he scythed through the field after what turned out to be an inspired decision to switch to intermediate tyres at his first pit stop rather than the full-wets that his rivals took on.

At that stage the track was only greasy and, with the looming downpour not materialising until much later, Glock made up time and places hand over fist.

“It was a tricky race and in the end I have to say one of the best races I’ve ever done,” he said.

“We struggled a bit at the start – I don’t know why we lost so many places.

“I couldn’t believe that Fernando [Alonso] and Kimi [Raikkonen] were in front of me in the first corner – I didn’t know where they came from.

“I was struggling and I was only P8, I think, after the first lap.

“In the traffic it was really tricky. After five or six laps I saw already that the clouds were coming and I was always asking [the team] ‘when is the rain coming?’.

“They said ‘it should come in the next couple of minutes, and I could se the big clouds coming – but it took so long and we were so close to the first pit stop, so I said ‘OK, you know what, I’ll take the risk, we’ll go for inters and see’.”

Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari went down the opposite route to Glock, taking on full-wet tyres as early as lap 18 – when the track was still bone-dry – in anticipation of rain.

Glock said he had partly based his decision on seeing how badly Raikkonen struggled.

“I’d seen the Ferrari on heavy wets quite early and I knew that they would destroy the tyres,” he said.

“So I said, ‘come on, we’ll go for inters and take the risk’ and in the end it paid off.”

Glock’s charge took him all the way to the lead of the race by the time the torrential rain arrived on lap 30, but he was unable to resist Jenson Button on a fresh set of intermediate tyres and then fell behind Nick Heidfeld while he pitted for full-wets.

Although he passed Heidfeld to reclaim second at the start of lap 32, he was classified third after the red flag came out and the countback to the last complete racing lap took effect.

“The last two laps behind the safety car were so confusing because my engineer when I did the pit stop that I was leading the race, so I said, ‘OK I won’t push because I want to save the tyres’,” recounted Glock.

“Then I saw Jenson coming out in front of me, so I was P2.

“I jumped out of the car and everybody said ‘you’re P2, you’re P2’ – now I come up here I’m in P3, so hopefully when I go back down to the team I’m still in P3!”

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