German GP: Virgin race report

Virgin Racing's Timo Glock drove a great race to finish the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim as the first driver in the new teams' category - despite starting from the last row of the grid after taking a five place grid penalty for a changed ...

Virgin Racing's Timo Glock drove a great race to finish the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim as the first driver in the new teams' category - despite starting from the last row of the grid after taking a five place grid penalty for a changed gearbox.

Both Timo and Lucas opted to start on the hard Prime tyre while most of the other cars were on super-soft Options as expected. It was all a bit hectic on the first lap, and Timo was concerned that he had damaged his wing at the second corner. Lucas managed to get past both of the HRTs and was running close behind the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen during the first part of the race, although the Primes did not work quite as well in the race as expected and the Finn was running on Options. Timo passed Yamamoto but couldn't get by Senna despite being clearly quicker and running on his tail for several laps.

When the Option-shod cars stopped for Primes, Lucas and Timo headed the new teams until around three-quarter distance, when Lucas suffered a broken rear wishbone whilst mid-corner, causing him to spin. Timo then stopped for Options and rejoined behind Kovalainen. He was very happy with the balance on the softer tyre and was catching the Lotus until the Finn was taken out of the race. From there Timo had a straightforward drive to the finish, showing good pace in comparison to the leaders. The recent updates to the car continue to show improvement, leaving the team in a strong position for the Hungarian Grand Prix in a week's time.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"It was a difficult start to the race as Lucas overtook me in a brilliant move, following the problems we experienced on Saturday which left us starting from the last row of the grid as a consequence of our gearbox change penalty. However, I had a really good start and overtook both HRT cars in turn one, which was good, but in turn 2 I lost everything again. It felt as if someone pushed me in the back and I ran wide and suddenly I was last again. I had to start the fight against the HRT again and overtook Yamamoto but I was stuck behind Senna because he had a good top speed. After the pitstop I had pretty good speed but then the blue flags came out again which penalised me too much. With the option tyre I had clear air and good pace. Overall I was happy with the race. I just hope we can find a way to get a smoother build-up over the weekend because it will make life a lot easier."

Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"I had a very positive start to the race today as I gained four places on the first lap and was running up behind Heikki for many laps. The car was behaving well, so I was confident we could beat Lotus on the track today and really push after the switch to the option tyre. I hit a bump on the kerb which damaged the suspension and so I lost the car. The damage meant that it was impossible to continue so what could have been a really great race ended early for me. However, we have shown the strength of the car here so I'm really looking forward to the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend."

John Booth, Team Principal
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster weekend for us, starting out with a strong Free Practice on Friday, followed by the disappointment of our problems on Saturday and then a really strong race for both Timo and Lucas. It is frustrating that having pulled it all back today in the race we lost Lucas' car in the closing stages, but I think the whole team goes to Hungary with great anticipation for a strong weekend."

Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"A very encouraging day for the team. We chose a conservative strategy of starting both cars on prime tyres and at the beginning the extra performance of the Option tyres allowed Heikki to open up a small gap which became bigger when the blue-flag-hell started. At the same time, Timo got stuck behind Bruno for a long time before he was able to get Lucas back in his sights. After Heikki finally pitted for his prime tyres, and came out behind us, it was encouraging to see us able to maintain or increase our gap despite his advantage of fresh tyres. Lucas was having another very strong race, when it looks like a very harsh exit kerb caused a rear suspension issue which sadly forced us to retire him. On the other hand, Timo's race ended with a nice gap in the blue flags which allowed him to put in a sequence of quick laps and finish the best of the new teams. Yesterday, we were frustrated by not being able to show our performance improvements, but we have certainly done that today. In fact Timo's race fastest lap was only 2.3 seconds down on the leader and 1.4 down on the fastest Williams, which is impressive in our first year. We'll try and eliminate the issues that tripped us up this weekend and we go to Hungary determined to have a better race again, on a track that should suit our cars current aero characteristics."

-source: virgin

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