Having been forced to run two different cars in recent events, the Virgin Racing team will finally bring run two revised versions of its VR-01 for the first time in the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend.
While Timo Glock got his hands on the car – fitted with a larger fuel tank amongst other things – in Spain, team-mate Lucas di Grassi has been forced to run the 'old' car for the opening two races of the European season.
However, the Brazilian will now get the opportunity to sample the car for the first time in Istanbul and said he was looking forward to running the same machine as his team-mate as he attempts to improve his performance.
“I'm really looking forward to racing in Turkey with the revised chassis and the new updates,” he said. “It has been difficult over the past two races because your best benchmark is always your own team-mate in the same equipment and I haven't been able to make that comparison. It has also been difficult for the team running two different cars. I've spent a lot of time in the simulators since Monaco to prepare myself for running with the new car and for the challenge of the Istanbul Park Circuit.
“I've raced here twice before in GP2 and I won both times, so I really like the track. Although we left Monaco empty-handed, we know what we can achieve when things go well. A lot of work has been done back in Bicester and Dinnington over the past week, so I hope we all get to see some reward for those efforts.”
Technical director Nick Wirth added that the team was glad of the opportunity to run two revised cars back-to-back for the first time and was keen to see the impact that new revisions to the car would have at the tricky Turkish circuit.
“The Turkish Grand Prix will be the first time since Shanghai that we have been able to get both drivers into the revised car, and all of the engineering staff are looking forward to using data from both running programmes to get the car dialed in to this tremendous track,” he said. “Watching some of F1's top teams struggle through the famous and bumpy turn eight last year certainly inspired some of the development direction of the VR-01, and we're looking forward to the challenge that this track represents.
“We've addressed the issues which prevented us finishing Monaco plus we've brought further revisions to both the aero and mechanical package of the cars, so we are keen to see what we can achieve this weekend.”