Italian GP: Virgin preview

Spa Francorchamps delivered an exciting race as usual, and the new teams were racing closely throughout the entire race. The sun was shining while the cars were on the grid, but no sooner had they set off than rain began to fall. The choice ...

Spa Francorchamps delivered an exciting race as usual, and the new teams were racing closely throughout the entire race.

The sun was shining while the cars were on the grid, but no sooner had they set off than rain began to fall. The choice whether to stay out or pit for wet tyres was a tricky one, and Timo opted for wets as he had to pit for a new nosecone after taking avoiding action to miss Rubens Barrichello. Lucas, on the other hand, stayed out on slicks.

The track dried quickly and Timo was soon in for slicks again, leaving him in a strong position if the track stayed dry as he no longer had to change tyres. Lucas was hot on the heels of Jarno Trulli for the entire race, and when the rain came again on lap 35, Timo chose extreme wets and Lucas made a late call for the intermediates. A few laps later the safety car came out for a second time, and an exciting finish looked in prospect.

At the restart, Lucas was forced to give way to Heikki Kovalainen who looked to have all four wheels off the circuit, but both Virgin Racing cars gave chase and finished strongly. At the flag, Lucas was 17th and Timo was directly behind him.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"Quite an eventful race, I have to say. I got a good start but again someone pushed me off the track and I lost two places. Then when Barrichello and Alonso had their incident I had to go wide and I went through the 50 metre board and damaged my front wing. I had to pit straight away and I lost quite a lot of time to the others. I then had to catch up to Trulli and Lucas again and at the end I took the gamble of having wet tyres which didn't pay off and the rain came just too late - I've been too unlucky in the races this year. They were difficult conditions over the weekend, which made for quite an interesting race. It paid off for us in qualifying but not in the race."

Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"A very good race overall. I'm very pleased with my drive and the team did a great job. They were very difficult driving conditions due to the weather changing so much from dry to half wet to full wet during a whole race. The team did a great job calling me at the correct moment and choosing the correct tyres. From my point of view it is very clear that Kovalainen cut the chicane at turn 5 and we have brought this to the attention of the race officials. Hopefully we will know more about this soon."

John Booth, Team Principal
"I'm very pleased with how the whole team worked over the weekend. We had a massive effort to get Timo's car ready yesterday, and to have both cars run so strongly to the finish demonstrates how far we have come and that we have earned our right to be on the grid. Both Lucas and Timo drove great races, the pitstops went perfectly and I'm very proud of our teamwork. We leave here in a very positive mood and looking forward to a good result in Monza."

Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"An exciting and eventful race for us. We had gambled on a high downforce strategy hoping for a very wet race, but ultimately the rain didn't fall in sufficient quantity for our gamble to fully pay off. Timo was unlucky to lose his front wing and we were forced to pit, but a replacement was not to the same specification because his spare wing was broken in his crash on Friday. Despite this he did a good job catching up with Lucas and Jarno. Unfortunately when the rain came Timo gambled to come in early and fit full wets which just didn't work out for him. On the other hand Lucas's race was smooth and it was another great performance for a rookie in very tricky conditions. We're pleased to get both cars to the finish strongly and let's hope for better luck in the final European race in Monza."

-source: virgin racing

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