Virgin encouraged by upgrades and reliability thus far

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Cool conditions prevailed in Barcelona today for the opening day of running at the Circuit de Catalunya as Formula 1 prepares for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. Despite starting out overcast at the Circuit de Catalunya, the sun gradually shone through in the first session.

Both Timo and Lucas were able to work through their planned programmes to evaluate the latest upgrades, covering 23 and 24 laps respectively. They ended the session 20th and 21st. After the frenetic pace of the last two weeks, everybody in the team was pleased to have such a smooth-running session.

This afternoon, both cars again ran reliably. Lucas finished 21st on the timesheets, with Timo 24th, having notched up a further 30 laps and 21 laps respectively.

Timo Glock #24:
“Not a perfect start to the weekend as we had a few problems in both free practice sessions. In general I think we just have to understand a bit more about the new car with the longer wheelbase, so there are still things we need to resolve for tomorrow. Hopefully we will get it right in time for Qualifying.”

Lucas di Grassi #25:
“Basically it was a good Friday. We had no mechanical problems and no hydraulic issues with my car. It was a good first session and a good second session and we were able to evaluate a lot of the upgrades we have on the car. I’m very happy with the work that has been done and I’m looking forward to carrying on the progress tomorrow”

Nick Wirth, Technical Director:
“I was very encouraged by the reliability today, particularly the work done with the fuel systems, which seems to have been very productive. On the performance side there is still some work to do although the signs are good. This was the first time out with the longer car and perhaps it does react slightly differently; it may take a few more sessions to get to grips with it. We also had a couple of issues, for example where we lost a piece of bodywork which affected downforce levels. It will just take a bit of time before we find the sweet-spot of the new chassis.”