Virgin Racing demonstrated a positive step forward between yesterday's Free Practice running and today's crucial Qualifying hour in the final countdown to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Rain overnight meant that the track was once again...
Virgin Racing demonstrated a positive step forward between yesterday's Free Practice running and today's crucial Qualifying hour in the final countdown to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Rain overnight meant that the track was once again very green and finding a way to extract the best from the tyres would be key. The track was more or less dry for the start of Free Practice 3, apart from the kerbs, which remained slippery. Both cars stuck to their planned programmes which were designed to evaluate the best set-up for Qualifying and the Race. The team made significant progress from yesterday, with the varied programme resulting in Lucas topping the official list of top speeds, while Timo ended up recording the lowest speed on the list as the objective for his car was to gather as much data as possible. With just a minute to go in the session, Lucas unfortunately locked a rear brake, touched the grass and brushed the wall. The team had to work hard to get the car ready for Qualifying but this was achieved without drama.
This afternoon, Timo was able to take advantage of the progress that had been made with the car, but was disappointed that it was not sufficient to usurp the Lotus cars today. Lucas struggled with traffic during his crucial run which compromised his lap time.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"It was quite a difficult session for us today. Because of the problems we had yesterday the car wasn't perfect but we did made quite a nice step overnight which got us close to Lotus today. The car is still quite difficult to drive over the kerbs and bumps but reverting to a higher downforce set-up was the right direction. We will look at the strategy and see how we can make the most of tomorrow's race."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"It was not a very good qualifying for me today. For my second run I got a lot of traffic -- especially with Kobayashi - and I was not able to extract the maximum from the car. I lost the quickest two laps because of this. The car is still some way from the optimum set-up for here so we will now look at the best strategy for the race tomorrow and do the best job possible. I'd like to thank everyone in the team for their great work in getting the car back together in time for Qualifying after my 'off' in Third Practice this morning."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"Our overnight changes brought us closer to our expected pace here, but in two very different ways. Lucas decided to stick to our Canada-specific aero package, whilst Timo wanted to run more downforce. The tyre issues that all teams have faced have definitely made our Canada package look a bit light on overall downforce, which we saw in the speed trap from FP3, where we had both the fastest and slowest top speeds of all teams! In reverting to higher downforce, Timo has also been somewhat compromised by what aero parts we have available here, so we couldn't give him the aero efficiency that we had in Turkey, which is why he was a bit slower in qualifying than we can do at the moment. I think Lucas would have found a bit more speed in his last run on a different tyre, but we head into tomorrow's race with both ends of the downforce range covered and with another double finish our main target. With tyre problems expected tomorrow for all teams, I think the race could be one for the fans, so let's see what we can achieve."