Bahrain GP: Virgin Racing race report

After a positive result in qualifying yesterday, Virgin Racing's Grand Prix debut ended in disappointment in Bahrain after both cars were forced to retire in the early part of the race. Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi both got off to a great...

After a positive result in qualifying yesterday, Virgin Racing's Grand Prix debut ended in disappointment in Bahrain after both cars were forced to retire in the early part of the race.

Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi both got off to a great start, Timo gaining a place and Lucas making up three positions on the opening lap of his own F1 racing debut. Just three laps into the race Lucas pulled over into turn 9 after losing hydraulic pressure. All hopes rested on Timo Glock. After spending a lot of time behind Kovalainen, Timo finally made his move in a deft overtaking manoeuvre and was going great guns. In the space of just a few laps he went on to lose 3rd gear then 5th gear. He pitted in the hope that the problem could be diagnosed and fixed so that he could return to the racetrack and clock up crucial mileage. Sadly it was not to be and the team reluctantly retired Timo's car from the race.

Timo Glock #24

"The race was going quite well for me after I managed to overtake Heikki. We were having quite a good battle for where we were and it was nice to have that racing feeling again. But first I lost 3rd gear and I was having to drive around it. Then 5th followed and it was impossible to continue. We tried to find a fix but there was no way of getting back in the race, not even to get some important development mileage. It's disappointing but we have to take the rough with the smooth at this stage. We just need to focus now on doing whatever we need to do to come back stronger in Melbourne. My personal thanks to everyone in the team here in Bahrain and back in England. It has been an epic battle for us to reach this point and the single biggest thing we can take as a reward was our qualifying result yesterday, which showed what we can do if we continue to keep pushing."

Lucas di Grassi #25

"I got a great start and the car was feeling pretty good. I think we could have had a good race with the car that we had but then just a few laps into the race I had to pull over in turn 9 and my race was over before it had really begun. There's no point being downhearted. We'll be back in Melbourne with some new developments and a fix for the problems we experienced here. It's race one of 19 and there's a long way to go yet. I would like to thank the team for an incredible job here and over the past few months. It's been a huge effort and I hope for a better result for the whole team in Australia in two weeks' time."

Nick Wirth, Technical Director

"Lucas retired due to a hydraulic fitting failure, which has occurred at other points during this weekend. After some laps in the race Timo's car experienced an unexpected rise in gearbox temperature followed by a gradual loss in the number of gears he could select, which ultimately caused him to retire. We're still currently investigating the cause of the high gearbox temperature. So we leave our first Grand Prix disappointed that we did not manage to get either car to the finish but at least we haven't had a repeat of any of our winter testing problems. Most importantly, we now know that our faith in the all-CFD design approach was justified, as we have demonstrated that we have built a competitive Formula 1 car. That is one reward that we can take away from this weekend. Finally, congratulations to Lotus Racing on achieving a two-car finish in their first race. It is a fantastic achievement for a new team and I hope we can get Timo and Lucas to the flag in Melbourne in two weeks' time."

-source: virgin racing

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi
Teams Virgin Racing