Virgin Racing team principal John Booth said he was pleased with the 'excellent progress' being made by the team after four successful days of running with the new MVR-02 during pre-season F1 testing at Jerez.
Having run its 2010 car in the first test of the year, the four-day test gave Timo Glock and Jerome D'Ambrosio the first opportunity to try out the car they will drive this season following a launch event in London earlier in the week.
Glock managed to post the eighth quickest time during Friday's running to indicate the potential of the new car and although D'Ambrosio saw his time at the wheel restricted by an engine problem on Sunday's final day of running, Booth was pleased with the progress made.
“We are already half way through the pre-season tests and I'm very pleased with what we have achieved so far,” he said. “The last four days here in Jerez have been extremely productive. We have been able to recover well from small setbacks and we are making excellent progress as we count down towards the first race. Both Timo and Jerome have done a fantastic job here and we just have to keep pushing hard now to maintain the momentum in Barcelona next week.”
Technical director Nick Wirth agreed with Booth's viewpoint and said he was happy there had no repeat of the problem the team had encountered last year when it launched the VR-01.
“Overall, I am delighted with this positive first test for the MVR-02,” he said. “Many of the systems that caused us problems last year have performed faultlessly and we've learned a lot. The team has gathered lots of basic aero data, pressures and loads, and conducted tests with the blown diffuser and moving rear wing and the data correlates well with our aero predictions.
“As with every new car, the test has revealed a number of small issues which we'll address quickly, but the main thing is that the basic package seems reliable, which was our first priority. We're still missing some parts, which has limited our basic set-up and a bit of performance, but we'll have these for Barcelona. The car is a good step forward from last year, which is what we wanted.”