Virgin Racing were hit by further hydraulic problems in today’s British Grand Prix as Lucas di Grassi was forced to retire just ten laps into the 52 lap race. Timo Glock went on to finish eighteenth, behind the two Lotus cars, but ahead of the Hispanias.
Glock actually managed to get ahead of Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus thanks to a quick pit stop by the Virgin team, but the Finn was able to pass Glock when he ran wide at Stowe.
“I had a bad start again and lost position against Jarno (Trulli) and Heikki,” said Glock. “In the race I tried to stay with the Lotus, which pulled away slightly. When Heikki went in to the pits I had two really good laps and came in to the pits. The boys did a really good pit stop which brought me out in front of Heikki. Then I was following Jarno and I tried to keep up with him but I had a really big oversteer moment over a bump and nearly lost the car. Heikki then overtook me and so I finished behind the Lotus. On a positive note the pace was good and I was fairly happy with the car.”
The team had new aero upgrades at this race, which they think should help them challenge Lotus for new-team supremacy. Di Grassi acknowledged that these were an improvement, even though he didn’t have much chance to use them to his advantage today.
“We didn't have a very good day,” said the Brazilian. “The car was good at the start but then we lost hydraulic pressure which ended my race.
“I am obviously disappointed but on a positive note, the car is showing great progress and I am looking forward to the next race.”
John Booth, the team principal, sounded positive after the race: “I’m really pleased with how the Team worked together this weekend. We had a number of challenging issues during Free Practice, when the boys managed to get Timo back on the track with minimal loss of track time and in the Race we had a faultless pit stop, reflecting all the hard work and practice that we’ve been putting in.
“The new aero package works well with the mechanical upgrade we fitted in Valencia, meaning that we are in a strong position to keep moving forwards at Hockenheim.”
Technical Director Nick Wirth says that there is still more to come from the team this season. “A mixed result today. We have clearly made a good step forward in performance and had a race-long battle with the Lotus cars. This was somewhat spoiled when Timo lost ground to Heikki in the yellow-flag section caused by Alguersuari's off, which allowed Heikki to get in Timo's slipstream and eventually pass.
“Lucas has fallen victim to another hydraulic gremlin, just when he was in the thick of the action, and we will address this for Hockenheim. But the progress is clear and our battles, finishing position and fastest race laps show how tight things are now.
“We know that every bit of performance counts, so we'll be looking to bring more updates to Hockenheim and the races beyond, with great confidence that they will translate into yet more speed.”