At the Istanbul Park Circuit today, Virgin Racing enjoyed a more productive day of running in preparation for tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix. After a frustrating start to the weekend yesterday, a great deal of overnight data analysis yielded some good solutions, which helped to put
the team back on track and the true potential of the car finally started to reveal itself in Free Practice this morning.
As a consequence, the team continued to improve the car through the morning and both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were much happier heading into the crucial Qualifying session. Improving with each lap, Timo was looking good for a strong final run with which to challenge for lead new team, but a mistake in the first sector cost him dearly and he had to abandon the lap ending the session in 21st position.
Lucas experienced a frustrating Qualifying session. Although the basis of his car was clearly improved, he experienced a power loss issue with his engine and will line up a row behind Timo after qualifying 23rd.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"After a difficult opening day here yesterday, we really managed to turn things around for ourselves overnight and because of that we were able to have a much stronger day today. The difference in the car since yesterday was like night and day, so I have to thank the team for that. The car was performing well in Free Practice this morning and I was very motivated going into Qualifying, because it's great knowing that you have a car that will give you the chance to beat the immediate competition. I had a great second lap and felt that we had the car bang on for my final lap. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the first sector and that was that, but I'm much happier with the car and looking forward to the race tomorrow."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"Despite the improvements that we made to the car set-up overnight, today has been very frustrating for me as we had an issue with the engine. Timo was able to demonstrate the true potential of the package and so it was disappointing for me to end up so far away because of the problem. I hope we can look forward to something more representative tomorrow and have a good race because I think we can have a good day."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"A very encouraging day. After a detailed analysis of yesterday's running, a strong team engineering effort with a lot of clear input from both drivers yielded the improvement that I was looking for. Timo was much happier with the car today and it's clear that the development parts that we brought here are working again. It's a bit unfortunate that Timo didn't manage to complete his last qualifying run as we believed it was possible to get in front of at least one of the Lotus cars. We've closed in on them since Barcelona and we normally have a strong race pace in comparison, so the objective is to fight for every opportunity and get both cars to the finish.
"We're all very sorry that Lucas' day has been blighted by an issue with the engine that we fitted to his car last night, which had already completed two Grands Prix. The power loss from this engine is the sole reason that Lucas is so far behind Timo and having discussed the issue with Cosworth we have no other option but to change the engine for the race tomorrow."