Japanese GP: Virgin race report

After yesterday's torrential downpour, better weather greeted Suzuka for the postponed qualifying and race at today's Japanese Grand Prix. The track was mainly dry at the start of qualifying but still slightly slippery. The softer Option tyre...

After yesterday's torrential downpour, better weather greeted Suzuka for the postponed qualifying and race at today's Japanese Grand Prix.

The track was mainly dry at the start of qualifying but still slightly slippery. The softer Option tyre was clearly the way to go, although as the team hadn't managed to optimise the set-up for these tyres during the only dry day of running, it was always going to be an uphill struggle. Lucas opted for three runs while Timo chose to go out only twice. At the end of the session Lucas was classified 21st on 1:36.265, Timo 22nd with 1:36.332.

Unfortunately Lucas was unable to start the race, as he had an accident at the infamous 130R corner on his reconnaissance lap to the grid and hit the barrier very hard.

Timo got a reasonable start and when the Safety Car came out as a result of the first lap carnage, he pitted twice in order to be able to complete the race on the Prime tyre.

Unfortunately this left him behind Sakon Yamamoto, who used his experience of the Suzuka circuit to block Timo's attempts to pass. Once Yamamoto pitted, Timo was able to show his true pace, but by then the race was long over.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"The start of the race was reasonable for me but the safety car came out straight away, so we decided to do two pitstops in a row to get the Option tyre out of the way, which we hadn't been able to get to work on the car in Free Practice. We ended up behind Yamamoto and just couldn't get past him. He blocked me for most of the race and in the end all I could do was focus on just getting to the end of the race. It has been a strange weekend here in Suzuka and I think we'll be happy to head to Korea and hope for better things."

Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"I was happy with my qualifying performance in the morning but also confident there was more to come out of the car as I only managed 25 laps in total in Suzuka before qualy.

"I am disappointed that I wasn't able to take part in the race. I had a big crash in the 130R corner while preparing the car to go to the grid. I'm glad I'm physically fine and will keep pushing harder than ever together with my team."

John Booth, Team Principal
"Thankfully Lucas was unhurt in his accident on the way to the grid. We have studied all the information from his car and there is no indication of a failure. We took a bit of a gamble on strategy with Timo and unfortunately it didn't work out as he was unable to get past Yamamoto. He was at least able to bring the car home reliably to achieve another classified finish. We now hope for better fortune in Korea in two weeks' time."

-source: virgin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi , Sakon Yamamoto , John Booth