Belgian GP: Virgin Racing race report

The mechanics and engineers at Virgin Racing put in incredible effort overnight to have Timo's car ready for this morning's practice session following damage incurred in an 'off' yesterday, and were rewarded by seeing him go through into Q2 for...

The mechanics and engineers at Virgin Racing put in incredible effort overnight to have Timo's car ready for this morning's practice session following damage incurred in an 'off' yesterday, and were rewarded by seeing him go through into Q2 for the second time this year.

In the earlier practice session, the weather was still a key factor, starting dry and finishing with a rain shower. Both cars ran well and were able to gain useful dry-running data. For qualifying, the track looked to be dry despite a lunchtime shower, but proved to be deceptively slippery, resulting in an early red flag. Timo had already set a good time on the Option tyre by this time, but Lucas was unlucky enough to be hit by Jarno Trulli's Lotus, which effectively ruined his qualifying session. A further rain shower meant that intermediate tyres were the way to go, and Timo's early lap remained good enough to go through into Q2.

In Q2, the sun was shining and the track was drying, setting the scene for a classic Spa qualifying where crossing the line last could result in glory, but the dice weren't loaded in Timo's favour and he finished the session 17th. Unfortunately Timo was also judged to have held up Yamamoto on a timed lap and received a five place grid penalty, so Timo will start the race 20th on the grid, with Lucas 23rd.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"A good qualifying today in which we made it through to Q2 and got the opportunity to show a little more of the team's potential and also from my side too. The team worked incredibly hard to build an entire new car overnight following my accident yesterday. We always knew this would be a weekend with opportunities for the team because of the changing weather and to have such a good qualifying in such an unpredictable situation off the back of such a big task to get the car ready is a great reward for them. I was quite happy with my performance, not making any mistakes in these conditions and to get the best out of the car in the situation. The session was very chaotic having to switch tyres as the conditions changed and tomorrow promises more of the same. It could be a very eventful race for the teams and the fans and I hope we can make the most of that."

Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"A disappointing qualifying session for me because the conditions were perfect for our set-up. On the first time lap Trulli hit me and the damage was so great we had to stop. Tomorrow looks like rain again so I'm looking forward to an interesting race."

Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"An exciting and eventful session. Last night, we took the decision to gamble on the race weather being wet and have today run a high downforce aero condition on both cars that is some way from the fastest configuration from this circuit when it is dry. Timo's crew did a fantastic job by working all night to get his car ready for free practice today and the shower before qualifying made the track very tricky. Lucas was very unlucky to get hit by Jarno when he slowed down to avoid a spinning car - sadly the impact broke his oil cooler and ended what could have been a promising session through no fault of his own. Timo managed to put a good lap together at the beginning of Q1 which showed what is possible in tricky conditions, and he managed to hang on to a Q2 spot for the second time this year. As Q2 ended up being relatively dry, we weren't expecting to progress much and therefore decided not to change tyres at the end of the session. So we'll fix Lucas's car tonight and keep our fingers crossed for some more weather madness tomorrow!"

-source: virgin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi
Teams Virgin Racing