- Canadian Grand Prix
'A really crazy race' for Virgin Racing in Canada
Virgin Racing technical director Nick Wirth was left reflecting on a 'worse-case scenario' of tyre degradation that hampered his team's chances at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The race started well with Lucas di Grassi running in the points during the first stint. But a combination of tyre wear and a hydraulic problem dropped him back down to 19th as Timo Glock was forced to retire with a steering rack leak.
"For us, the worse-case tyre degradation that we planned for occurred, and the team did an unprecedented eight pit stops, all very smoothly," said Wirth. "We came out of the first lap in reasonable shape but unfortunately Timo had been hit from behind which cost him over 10% of his downforce, mainly at the rear.
"With rear tyre degradation as the dominant factor, his possibility of being competitive was effectively over and he had to do a number of very short stints and cope with this issue. Lucas had a smoother run and did a great job running the low-downforce setup. We had a steering rack leak that stopped Timo and we saw a drop in hydraulic pressure on Lucas's car with about 10 laps to go, so we elected to cruise to the end to ensure that we leave Montreal finishing one car like the other two new teams."
Despite finishing well down the order, Di Grassi took positives from a competitive first period of the race.
"The beginning of the race for me was very positive," said Di Grassi. "I got a good start and then got by Timo and Bruno Senna and we were catching the Lotus of Jarno Trulli. The first stint was very strong and we were running in P10 for a while - our first time in a points-scoring position. Unfortunately, towards the end of the race we had a loss of hydraulic pressure and I had to stop shifting to conserve the car. A disappointing end but it was good that we were able to keep going and get the car home."
Meanwhile, team-mate Timo Glock reflected on a 'crazy race' that saw numerous different incidents scupper his chances of a finish.
"A really crazy race all round. I had an okay start but then in turn eight Bruno Senna crashed into the back of my car, which destroyed the rear of the car and cost me a lot of downforce, as well as pushing me off the track which put me last," said Glock. "I tried to catch up but the problems we anticipated with the tyres started early on and our main focus was preserving the tyres.
"The pit stops were very quick - all five of them! - and the team did a great job. But then I had a steering rack leak ten laps before the end and my race was over. Generally, as great as it is to be back racing in Canada, it has been a tough weekend here for us and we hope for better things in Valencia in two weeks' time."