Virgin Racing was upbeat after a solid start to pre-season testing in Valencia yesterday [Tuesday].
Jerome D'Ambrosio was given the honour of turned the team's first laps of the new season, albeit with the 2010 VR-01, with the team working through a programme of systems evaluation and Pirelli tyre testing.
The Belgian driver was an impressive seventh quickest ahead of the likes of Vitaly Petrov, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello and said he was happy with his first day behind the wheel as an F1 race driver.
D'Ambrosio will now hand the VR-01 over to Timo Glock for the next two days before returning to action at Jerez next week with the new MVR-02.
“Today was an excellent day and I was really looking forward to driving the car for the first time as a Formula One driver,” he said. “It really is an amazing feeling and I'm really excited for the season ahead. I think today was a good start. I'm getting used to the Pirelli tyres and working really well with the team, who are doing a great job. Now I can't wait for my next day in the car, which will be in Jerez and driving the new MVR-02 car.”
Team principal John Booth was also happy with the opening day of testing although he admits there is still plenty of work to be done before the start of the year as the team focuses on preparing its new car for next weeks second test of the campaign.
“It's great to be back,” he said. “We are really looking forward to our second season in Formula 1. Jerome did a very good job today in the car and I'm really pleased with how the team is working. We have started out on the right note but there is still a lot to be done. We are heading in the right direction and I'm very pleased with the way things are progressing at this very early stage.”