Timo Glock insists that Marussia Virgin Racing's decision to switch its focus to its 2012 car in the wake of parting company with technical director Nick Wirth will not affect his motivation.
Virgin came into this season hoping to reach Q2 on a regular basis, but the team has not managed to do better than 20th in qualifying so far this year. Despite knowing that he could face a second consecutive year without any points finishes as development tails off in the second half of the year, Glock claims he will have no difficulty maintaining focus.
"I never lose my motivation," said Glock. "My motivation is still to keep the gap to Lotus as small as possible and just to get the best out of qualifying and the race every time. That's what I am doing and I can't do any more."
Glock will line up 21st on the grid for today's European Grand Prix at a Valencia circuit where he holds the lap record, set during his second year with Toyota in 2009. He comfortably outqualified lead HRT driver Vitantonio Liuzzi after the Spanish team sprung a surprise in the last race in Canada by beating Virgin. Glock believes that the battle between the teams, which are currently occupying the bottom two places in the constructors' championship, could swing depending on the circuit characteristics.
"We have to see how tracks like Silverstone, which has a completely different characteristic to Valencia, will affect us or HRT," said Glock. "It will be track dependent.
"This weekend has gone well so far. We were consistently quicker than them and closer to Lotus, for some reason, which is positive for the team, but at the moment it is quite a big gap."
Team principal John Booth put Virgin's lack of pace in Canada down to a lack of a low-downforce set-up, something that did not hinder the team so much during the race. He added that the performance of this year's car at different circuits corresponds to the pattern seen last year.
"This is a totally new car to last year, but oddly enough the circuits where we were comfortable last year are the ones where we are comfortable this year," said Booth. "And the circuits where we struggled last year, like Barcelona and Canada, we have struggled again this year.
"We haven't quite got to the bottom of it, although we didn't have a low-downforce setup for Canada, which compromised qualifying there. But it almost paid dividends in the [wet] race."