• Malaysian Grand Prix

Virgin targets chequered flag

ESPNF1 Staff
April 1, 2010 « Di Resta 'can't wait' for second F1 outing | »
Nick Wirth thinks Virgin Racing can finish in Malaysia © Sutton Images

Following on from the embarrassing post-Melbourne revelation that the Virgin Racing's fuel tank was between 15 and 20 litres too small to complete a full race distance, the team is now confident that a rushed re-design will enable it to reach the chequered flag in Malaysia.

Nick Wirth, Virgin's technical director, admitted on Wednesday that it is the responsibility of his company Wirth Research to pay for the VR-01 redesign for an estimated £1 million. And, although the completely revised car will not be ready until early May, he is confident that a quick fix will deliver the desired results.

"It's been quite a challenge with the quick turnaround from the Melbourne race - for instance we had just five hours to strip the cars and the garage after the last race before the freight departed, which meant that we had to work quickly to diagnose the issues," said Wirth.

"Nevertheless, we're ready to start Sepang with further revisions to our car to cover the recent problems, with the total focus on getting to the chequered flag, via a smooth weekend on both cars."

Driver Lucas di Grassi shares Wirth's optimism that Malaysia will see an upturn in the team's fortunes in what will be his first Malaysian Grand Prix. "The guys are pushing really hard and we are improving all the time, sometimes in ways that may not be visible to anyone outside of the team because the problems are what other people see.

"Our obvious target here is to finish the race and we will be doing everything possible through the weekend to work towards achieving that. It will be an interesting challenge for the car and for me, as it's a real test of what heat and humidity can do to both of us."