• Malaysian Grand Prix

Virgin achieves first race finish

ESPNF1 Staff
April 5, 2010 « Sutil hails 'great achievement' | »
Lucas di Grassi passes team-mateTimo Glock's car in Sepang © Sutton Images
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Nick Wirth, Virgin Racing Technical Director, said that Lucas di Grassi's 14th place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix was great reward for everyone involved with the team.

Virgin had endured the ridicule of the paddock after the Australian Grand Prix when it was revealed the fuel tank on the car was not big enough to last a full race distance. But a hasty re-design was enough to get the job done and silence the doubters as Di Grassi brought the car home in Sepang.

"Finally getting one of our cars to see the chequered flag is a great reward for everyone at Virgin Racing and Wirth Research and I want to thank all of our partners, sponsors and supporters for their patience and understanding during the last few months," said Wirth.

"The race was quite stressful on the pit wall as we left the grid assuming that it was going to rain. It took a little while for us to be really sure that it wasn't and then, being mindful of our fuel tank limitations, it was really just a case of the team and Lucas deploying our well-practised fuel-saving techniques to excellent effect. Timo was very fired up for the race and it was unfortunate that he didn't manage to get a finish but his time will come very soon.

"This weekend has been, from start to finish, a clear step forward and comes as a result of diligent hard work from a great many people and I dedicate this result to them. We've come in for heavy criticism for our radical low-cost design approach and relative inexperience in F1, which makes our performance throughout the weekend all the more satisfying.

"Finishing our first Grand Prix as the leading new team will give us lots of information and we've got some clear direction on issues to address for Shanghai, which will allow us to perform better all round, without distracting us too much from the bigger Barcelona upgrade. So once again, well done to everyone at Virgin Racing and we now looking forward to building on this platform."