Virgin Racing once again qualified as the best of the new teams in Shanghai today in this afternoon's decisive shoot-out to determine the Grid for tomorrow's 56-lap Chinese Grand Prix.
Timo Glock posted the 19th fastest time - a 1:39.278 -- which was just two seconds away from
the more established teams. He remarked that the team had made big advances with the car during the course of a weekend that has proved to be a big set-up challenge for many of the teams and is generally pleased with the car's performance today.
Lucas di Grassi was on his way to an equally impressive lap, looking strong in sectors 1 and 2. He made a couple of mistakes in the third sector which cost him time and he missed out to end the day in 22nd position.
Timo Glock #24
"It was a good Qualifying session and I am happy, despite only really having one clean shot. On the first set of tyres I had traffic with Rubens doing a slow in-lap, so that frustrated my first quick run. With a proper first run I think we could have improved even more for the second, but overall I'm pleased with the lap and it's important to be in front of Lotus again. I have to say that on Friday things were looking difficult for us here, but it has been a good demonstration of what the team is capable of. With the engineers we have been able to improve the car quite a lot overnight to make the car work better at this track and the mechanics did a nice job. So far our weekend has been trouble-free, so we will wait and see what possibilities tomorrow brings."
Lucas di Grassi #25
"This was not a great qualifying session for me. The car behaved as expected and it was performing quite well. Reliability-wise we have also been very good. I was very quick on the first two sectors but made a mistake that cost me 3 or 4 tenths. As a result, I lost two or three positions on the grid. The important thing is to finish tomorrow's race as the best of the new teams again, so we will perform as well as possible and see what opportunities are there to take advantage of."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"Our improving reliability allowed both drivers to conduct some interesting and fruitful set-up work today in P3 and Qualifying. We elected to only do two runs in Q1 and Timo got blocked on his first run, so he did a good job to deliver a solid performance in his single lap. Lucas performed strongly today, so it was a shame that he lost time in his final sector as that would have been an impressive lap for a Shanghai rookie. Our performance today has been all the more satisfying as we haven't been able to introduce a planned aero upgrade as it is currently on the wrong side of the Icelandic volcano plume! All in all, we're looking forward to the race, rain or shine."