Formula One's three newest teams each demonstrated a significant step forward in performance at last weekend's Turkish Grand Prix with the Cosworth-powered Lotus Racing, HRT F1 and Virgin Racing teams all finding positives from their debut races...
Formula One's three newest teams each demonstrated a significant step forward in performance at last weekend's Turkish Grand Prix with the Cosworth-powered Lotus Racing, HRT F1 and Virgin Racing teams all finding positives from their debut races around Istanbul Park.
For Cosworth, another good weekend overall was marred by two separate engine issues on Lucas Di Grassi's VR-01, the first in Saturday qualifying and the other just one hour before the race itself. Swift work on the part of Cosworth engineers and the Virgin Racing team enabled Di Grassi to join his team-mate Timo Glock in the race with the team registering their second two-car finish of the season. Glock set the fastest race lap of the three new teams in Turkey, 3.1s from the absolute best.
Lotus Racing were in jubilant mood on Saturday with a solid qualifying performance that saw them comfortably ahead of their rookie rivals and at a reduced gap to the established teams. Unfortunately both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were forced to retire from the race with hydraulics failures after a highly respectable race pace in the early laps. It was a similar story for HRT with Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok forced to stop with fuel system problems in the race after Senna had outpaced another team in qualifying for the first time this season.
Although the race results were disappointing with no Cosworth-powered car in the top ten points-scoring positions, the top-end performance of the CA2010 was perhaps better highlighted by the speed trap figures in qualifying and the race. In Saturday's qualifying shootout the AT&T Williams duo of Nico Huelkenberg and Rubens Barrichello registered the fourth and sixth fastest speed in excess of 313kph and followed that up with top six speeds in the race itself.
Mark Gallagher -- General Manager F1 Business Unit
"The performance of the three new teams in Turkey was very encouraging and underpins their dedication and determination to Formula One. Lotus, HRT and Virgin Racing all found tangible causes for encouragement as they continue to close the gap to some of the midfield teams.
From Cosworth's point of view, it was less satisfactory that we experienced two different engine issues with Lucas Di Grassi's VR-01 over the weekend that demanded swift attention. After a power loss problem on Saturday which required an engine change, the subsequent unit then developed an unexpected oil system problem one hour before the race start. The Cosworth track support crew worked methodically and efficiently with the Virgin Racing mechanics to tackle the problem and they did a superb job to reassemble the car in time for Lucas to join the race. The problem itself was quite an anomaly so we will now look closely to identify its cause back at base and ensure it does not recur.
It is never a good weekend when we are not in a position even to challenge for championship points, but together with our four teams -- Lotus, Virgin, HRT and Williams -- we look forward to the next race with renewed vigour."