Glock steers course back to F1 with Toyota

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Toyota's announcement yesterday that it has signed the German driver Timo Glock to replace Ralf Schumacher is a sign not just that a contractual tug of love with BMW Sauber has been resolved, but also that another potential berth for McLaren refugee Fernando Alonso has been closed.

The highly rated Glock, 25, made his Formula One debut with Jordan in 2004 when Ralph Firman was injured but, though he acquitted himself well and scored points with seventh place on his debut in Canada, he was obliged to head for the United States and the ChampCar series in 2005, before returning to Europe to drive in the GP2 championship. Last year his feisty drives against the champion Lewis Hamilton were a highlight; this year he emulated Hamilton, winning the title and graduating full-time to Formula One.

However, he first had to overcome contractual issues with BMW Sauber, who were initially prepared to release him from his obligations as test and reserve driver only for one year. These matters have been resolved and, following the signing of a multi-year agreement with Toyota, Glock hopes BMW Sauber will release him to test at Jerez in Spain next month.

The Toyota chairman and team principal, Tadashi Yamashina, said: "Timo has the potential to help this team achieve its aims. He demonstrated fighting spirit and good race craft in GP2."

Glock said: "It's great to be a Formula One driver again. I am confident we will work well together."

Schumacher's future is less certain as he continues to seek a drive.