Timo Glock took the new teams honours for Virgin in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix today at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Glock posted the 19th fastest time - a 1 minute 39.278 seconds, which was just two seconds away from the more established teams - near the end of the session after losing time on his first run when he was held up by Rubens Barrichello's Williams.
In the end he was 0.121 seconds quicker than the Lotus of Jarno Trulli and delighted to repeat what he had managed in Bahrain, the F1 2010 opener.
"It was a good qualifying session and I am happy, despite only really having one clean shot," said the former Toyota driver. "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."
Trulli meanwhile reckoned that he could probably have set a better time too: "It was a shame because I think I could have gone quicker, but the strong wind played a part and it wasn't easy out there," he explained. "It was a very gusty and I struggled a bit with that but having had three good practice sessions I'm expecting a better race tomorrow."
Heikki Kovalainen, who had a spin early in the session, agreed that the Lotus T127 had more potential, but that conditions had made things tricky.
"It was okay today but I couldn't quite get the perfect lap. The first two sectors were okay but just before the back straight I couldn't quite get the exit right and I think I lost about three tenths there.
"The wind has played its part today – in some braking zones at the back of the track there's a tailwind which unbalances the car, but the second to last corner is into a headwind and it felt really good under braking into there but it's no big deal – it's just one of those things! The race tomorrow will be better for sure. The car has felt good all weekend on heavy fuel so let's see what happens then," he summed-up.