Virgin Racing team principal John Booth has promised the that the team will introduce a 'significant upgrade package' for the opening round of the European F1 season this weekend.

The team has endured a difficult start to the season with its new MVR-02 and has been unable to match the pace of rivals Lotus, who have shown the potential to take a step forward and fight the established midfield teams.

Admitting it has been a tough opening to 2011, Booth said the team was planning a significant upgrade for Istanbul in an effort to make forward progress.

"The extent of our upgrade package for the start of the European season is significant to say the least," he said. "It represents a new direction for us and we're hopeful that it will help us start to turn the corner.

"By our own admission it's been a difficult start to the year, but we actually started doing something about that when we realised back in testing that we had not met our targets. We've been working hard behind the scenes since the middle of February and this weekend sees the culmination of all those efforts when we will be able to see just how much we can progress now. The extent of our upgrade package for the start of the European season is significant to say the least.

"Aerodynamically it's a new direction for us and we're hopeful that it will help us start to turn the corner, although with such a major step it may take us some time to tune it to the racetrack."

However, the upgrade will only be fitted to the car of Timo Glock for the Turkish weekend, with Jerome D'Ambrosio being forced to wait for the Spanish GP to reap the benefit of the team's work.

"Jerome will not have the benefit of the full upgrade package until Spain but he will get a taste of some of the elements this weekend," he said. "We are of course mindful of the fact that everyone should have taken a step forward ready for Europe, so we will have to see how we've fared versus the rest of the field."