Cosworth's Review of the European Grand Prix Cosworth enjoyed a satisfying European Grand Prix around the streets of Valencia on Sunday with AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello taking fourth place in his Cosworth-powered FW32. The result...
Cosworth's Review of the European Grand Prix
Cosworth enjoyed a satisfying European Grand Prix around the streets of Valencia on Sunday with AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello taking fourth place in his Cosworth-powered FW32.
The result represents the highest placed finish for a Cosworth-powered driver since David Coulthard took fourth for Red Bull Racing in the 2005 European Grand Prix at Germany's Nuerburgring circuit. It is Cosworth's best result of the year so far in its first season back in Formula One as an engine supplier since 2006.
Barrichello's fourth place was a pleasing result for Cosworth and the Williams team who had demonstrated its improved performance in Saturday's qualifying session getting both cars into the top ten with Nico Huelkenberg and Barrichello setting identical lap times. Barrichello took 12 points for his hard charge to fourth place, fending off the Renault of Robert Kubica, and setting the fifth quickest lap of the entire race, just 0.7s from the outright best of the afternoon. Huelkenberg, however, was prevented from capitalising on his own strong race when he was forced to retire on lap 50 due to an exhaust failure which the Williams team is investigating.
Of the three new teams, it was Virgin Racing who came out victors in the race with both Cosworth-powered VR-01 cars taking the chequered flag, Lucas Di Grassi finishing in 17th, one place ahead of his team-mate Timo Glock who was later demoted after being handed a 20 second post-race penalty.
It was a disappointing end to the weekend for Lotus Racing, who had been celebrating the Lotus marque's 500th Grand Prix participation. Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were both caught up in on-track collisions which ruined their race chances. Hispania Racing, meanwhile, took another two-car race finish, which was particularly satisfying for them in their home Grand Prix.
Q+A with Mark Gallagher -- Cosworth General Manager F1 Business Unit
Cosworth must be pleased with Rubens Barrichello's fourth place on Sunday?
"It was a strong performance from Rubens and the AT&T Williams team and a satisfying race result for all of us. Rubens had a good race and fought well to defend his position from the Renault of Robert Kubica with fourth place a welcome reward for his efforts. The performance of both Williams drivers showed that we have made another step with the overall package and it was good to see both drivers reach the final part of qualifying."
But disappointment in the race for Nico Huelkenberg...?
"Yes it was a disappointing end for Nico. He had a good qualifying result and just pipped Rubens for 8th by virtue of setting his lap time earlier in Q3. The early stages of his race were also promising and he was running in a solid points-paying position before his retirement. Williams have said that they will be investigating the failure to its exhaust. I think everyone was disappointed for Nico and the missed opportunity to get both cars in the points."
How did the rookie teams -- Virgin Racing, Lotus and Hispania Racing -- fare?
"Each of the rookie teams again found positives to take away from what was just their ninth race in Formula One. Virgin Racing established themselves as the top rookie team in the race with a two car finish. It was a shame that Timo Glock was penalised 20 seconds and ultimately lost a place but Lucas Di Grassi had a faultless afternoon and was able to show the continued developments of the Virgin-Cosworth package. Lotus Racing had a good qualifying but the end to their race was disappointing with both drivers involved in on-track incidents, the most highly publicised of which was the one involving Heikki Kovalainen and Mark Webber. We are thankful both drivers escaped unharmed. It was also great to see the team celebrating the 500th Formula One race for the Lotus name. Cosworth has shared many success stories with Lotus and we are committed to helping them achieve their Formula One goals in their latest guise. HRT was also able to celebrate another two-car finish, proving the reliability of their chassis and the Cosworth CA2010, which was particularly important for their home race. The work that Cosworth has carried out with the new teams in these first nine races of the year have been very rewarding and will prove valuable in moving their respective programmes forward."