Cosworth's Engineering Debrief: Australia
Setting the Scene
The Australian Grand Prix is one of the five toughest tracks on the calendar from Cosworth's perspective. As the season-opening race, it was the first occasion for teams and drivers to experience the rigours of a full race weekend with their new spec cars.
Cosworth had a satisfactory weekend in terms of its technical support to Marussia Virgin Racing, AT&T Williams and Hispania Racing, even if on-track results did not reflect the progress made with each of these three teams. The performance of the Williams-Cosworth FW33 was particularly encouraging in race trim.
Race Weekend Engineering Notes
Marussia Virgin Racing and AT&T Williams achieved good mileage during Friday free practice with rookies Pastor Maldonado and Jerome D'Ambrosio both accruing 281.1km on their respective CA2011k and CA2011 units. Rubens Barrichello completed in excess of race distance with a cumulative total of 307.6km on his CA2011k across both practice sessions. Timo Glock's MVR-02 underwent a precautionary engine change at the end of the day's running. The substituted unit is being returned to Cosworth's Northampton factory to undergo a full inspection with the expectation that it will be returned to the team's engine pool in time for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Hispania Racing carried out an installation lap with Vitantonio Liuzzi on Friday afternoon and again in Saturday morning's practice, while Narain Karthikeyan managed just a handful of laps more prior to qualifying. Neither driver was able to post a qualifying time within the required 107% time of Sebastian Vettel's pace-setting Q1 lap and, as per the FIA regulations, were not permitted to start the race.
In the race, Rubens Barrichello showed the potential of the Williams-Cosworth FW33 with a series of competitive laps and overtaking manoeuvres. The Brazilian had recovered well after being pushed into the gravel on the opening lap and had the pace to challenge for a solid points finish. A coming together with Nico Rosberg on lap 23 ended that challenge but the pure speed of the FW33 and performance of the Cosworth engine was more than evident.
Mark Gallagher -- General Manager F1 Business Unit
"There was much about the Australian Grand Prix for Cosworth to be satisfied with and the actual race results do not tell the whole story. The competitiveness of our engine remains clear and thanks to Rubens' race pace we can say that the overall Williams-Cosworth FW33 package is strong. We were also delighted to continue our 100% race reliability record which was unique to Cosworth last season. Marussia Virgin Racing should be congratulated on increased reliability and getting a two car finish, albeit with Timo a few laps down due to a minor issue. Well done to Jerome D'Ambrosio for a debut finish. HRT will bounce back and I suspect surprise their critics. They have strong management and a better technical package than the brief outing on Saturday suggested."