Virgin Racing head in to the second European leg of the Formula 1 championship at Valencia with high hopes for further progression.
Technical director Nick Wirth is looking to get the most out of the latest research and build on the information gathered in the first half of the season. “Now that we are back in Europe, the whole team is gearing up for a big push forwards in performance, which starts in Valencia.” he said.
The team will debut new mechanical parts which they hope will give a performance boost after a long development programme. “In all aspects of our research, both virtual and in R&D testing, it has looked a promising step,” explained Wirth. “So we expect it to help the car's behaviour and improve our lap time. The aim for this race is to get experience of it ahead of the new aero package which comes at Silverstone. As ever, we'll also be focused on having a smooth and reliable weekend.”
Timo Glock who currently holds the lap record around Valencia (set in 2009 in a Toyota) is looking forward to getting out on track but knows he will need to concentrate hard, “It's a circuit where you really have to keep your eye on the ball – a bit like Monaco – because the fast straights together with the barriers mean that you can easily get caught out. It can be very hot here but this year the race is slightly earlier and so the temperature should be cooler.”
Team-mate Lucas di Grassi is glad to be back in Europe and back in Spain, “The fans are all very supportive.” he said before adding – “I've raced here in GP2 before but I'm really looking forward to my first time out here in an F1 car.”
In the lead up to the European Grand Prix di Grassi has been hard at work getting ready for the race, “I've done some work in the simulator to prepare and we have some new parts which should help us in terms of setting the car up. Montreal was a tough race for us but we got there in the end. I hope we have fewer difficulties this time round and we can get the weekend off to a better start and fight for the position of best of the new teams at the end of it.”
Team Principal John Booth is hoping this weekend will mark the start of something good for the team, ” It's hard to believe that the mid-point of the season is almost upon us and of course we have our home race at Silverstone to look forward to in a couple of weeks. I think we are in good shape for part two of the European season and we hope to get things off to a good start in Valencia this weekend.”