F1 »

Virgin 'on course' as top rated newcomer

Timo Glock's 19th place in qualifying for the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix has Virgin Racing 'bang on track'.

Richard Branson has admitted that he is satisfied with the progress of his new Formula One project after Timo Glock narrowly out-qualified the two Lotus Racing drivers ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The billionaire, who has swapped the front of the grid - after backing Brawn GP and Jenson Button to their respective titles in 2009 - for the back, after taking on naming rights at newcomer Manor Grand Prix's F1 bid, has witnessed a tough off-season for technical director Nick Wirth's all-CFD machine, but enjoyed an early boost after Glock claimed 19th place on the grid for round one in Sakhir.

Comparing the Virgin Racing team to a new-born baby, Branson acknowledged that it would take time before he could enjoy the sort of success his first 'real' foray into F1 had brought, and praised the Dinnington-based squad for its unstinting efforts over the winter.

“Both the car and the team are in their infancy and, like all infants, some of our first steps may falter," he conceded, "But, unlike other teams, when things go wrong, we won't be throwing our toys out of the pram - we'll pick ourselves up and get right back into the playground!

"That's exactly what the team did here in Bahrain today after the setbacks they experienced over the weekend. Not only did we qualify as the fastest of the new teams, we came so close to the more established teams - and on a fraction of their budget. This not only shows the technical brilliance of Nick Wirth and his team, but true grit!"

Branson also admitted that he was prepared for the team to grow into a more mature, competitive outfit, targeting a three to five year timeframe.

"Considering that they have had just a few months to get this far, I think they have done tremendously well," he noted, "Now I feel we are a proper racing team, which is very exciting. We know exactly what our expectations were, set the expectations and, today, they are bang on track."

Having had both drivers miss valuable track time during the three free practice sessions in Bahrain, the Virgin team ended qualifying exactly where it expected to be, with Glock at the head of the 'third division' of new teams and just 2.7secs away from the nearest established teams, Scuderia Toro Rosso. Team-mate Lucas di Grassi qualified 22nd fastest on his F1 debut, sandwiching Lotus' Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.

“It's great to be the best of the new teams here, and I'm very happy with what we have achieved," former Toyota F1 pilot Glock commented, "This is a team result and a credit to everyone who has worked so hard in really difficult circumstances to get the best out of our first race package. To be just 2.7secs away from teams with many more years of experience is even better.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Luca Di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Cosworth VR-01
27.02.2010 Barcelona, Spain, Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group - Formula 1 Testing, Barcelona
Timo Glock (D) Virgin Cosworth VR-01
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


JJ - Unregistered

March 14, 2010 9:17 AM

Finish the race before patting yourself on the back Richard, Lotus have a greater chance of finishing than Virgin..... Front wing fell off Jerez test Rear wing fell off Barcelona test Bahrain...?????????? fell off



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.