European GP: Virgin race report

Valencia was not expected to produce a great race, but in the end it was action all the way, with both Virgin Racing cars running faultlessly to the finish. In a milestone performance, Lucas finished 17th with Timo 18th after a charge in the final...

Valencia was not expected to produce a great race, but in the end it was action all the way, with both Virgin Racing cars running faultlessly to the finish. In a milestone performance, Lucas finished 17th with Timo 18th after a charge in the final laps, getting past Karun Chandhok in the very last sector of the race.

Lucas made a great start, leading the newcomers' race on the first lap and finding that the behaviour of the car in race trim was much improved by the latest modifications. Timo was hot on Lucas' heels when the safety car came out after a dramatic collision between Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen and this continued after the restart until Timo needed to pit to cure a flat-spot induced vibration. He chose to go on the Option tyre and discovered that they were working much better than expected. He caught and passed Senna, whose front wing clipped Timo's rear tyre, causing a puncture. After his stop he set about catching the other HRT, taking around two seconds per lap out of the gap, before getting past. Lucas, meanwhile, was able to manage his tyres well, with a perfect drive to the finish.

Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25 "I'm thrilled to finish as the lead driver of the new teams for the first time today and for us to get two cars home again is a fantastic result for our team. For me it feels a bit like a victory and it was definitely one of the best races of my career. The car was performing well - exactly as we had expected it to - and we had a great pitstop which was also well-timed to manage the traffic. We are making good progress as a team and with the car. We had good pace here and this has been a positive step forward for us. We have another one coming for Silverstone - which we hope will be a good one - and then we just need to keep them coming because we are moving in the right direction."

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24 "I got a bad start to my Race and was sat behind Lucas for a long time. I couldn't pass him because every time I came close I destroyed the tyres and so I had to just wait for a chance. Then I had a big lock-up and destroyed the front right tyre and had to come into the pits to take the soft tyre. The car was really good on the Option tyre and we were able to do some big lap times but when I overtook Senna I touched his front wing and destroyed the rear tyres in the process so I had to pit again. I was able to do good lap times and I was quite happy with the car at the end. I overtook Chandhok on the last lap and finished in front of the other new teams so it was a good race towards the end. It is also great for the team to secure another strong two-car finish so we head to Virgin Racing's home Grand Prix at Silverstone feeling positive."

John Booth, Team Principal "A great effort from our team in the Race today and throughout the weekend. Both drivers have done a good job here and Lucas in particular deserves to feel happy with his Qualifying and Race results. Congratulations to the team on an excellent job in the pits where we secured the fourth fastest pit stop of the Race. With both drivers performing as well as they are and a clear demonstration of our car performance moving in the right direction, we have good reason to feel positive as we head towards the midpoint of the season and into our home race at Silverstone in two weeks' time."

Nick Wirth, Technical Director "That was a clear step in the right direction for our team. Not only were both cars running strongly at the finish, but it's very clear from the driver feedback and our race pace that our performance developments are working, so I must congratulate everyone behind the scenes for this work. To finish only one lap down on the leader is a clear indication of our progress since Bahrain. The next step is to bring some more of our aero developments out of the digital domain and on to the race car, so we'll put that right at Silverstone, and the whole team can't wait to see what happens at our fantastic home Grand Prix."

-source: virgin racing

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Heikki Kovalainen , Karun Chandhok , Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi , John Booth
Teams Virgin Racing