• Canadian Grand Prix

Virgin hoping to take advantage of a chaotic GP

ESPNF1 Staff
June 9, 2010 « Tyre decision in the next few weeks - Pirelli | »
Nick Wirth: "We're looking forward to another step in progress and performance this weekend" © Getty Images
Related Links

Virgin's technical director Nick Wirth is hoping a race of attrition in Canada will allow Virgin to come through for a strong finish.

Virgin has focused on solely on reliability since it had numerous hydraulic and mechanical problems at the start of the season. But after both cars finished at two of the last three races, Wirth is hoping Canada's history of chaotic grands prix will mean there will be an opportunity to get the team's best finish yet.

"The circuit itself is another interesting challenge, mainly in that it changes throughout the weekend and that makes getting the best race set-up quite tricky," said Wirth. "Brake wear and temperature is something that will challenge the teams this race, and if a number of people get that wrong, things can get very interesting close to the finish. , and more good reliability."

In Turkey Lucas di Grassi got his hands on a car with a full-sized fuel tank for the first time, but the focus on reliability has meant the team has yet to bring a full performance update to the car. However, Wirth revealed that it would be introducing a number of small Canada-specific updates to the car this weekend.

"Getting a two car finish in Istanbul was very important for us, as it is finally allowing us to focus on performance," he added. "Whilst the big performance steps for us this year are yet to be brought to the track, we have a nice Montreal aero package which consists of new aero parts all over the car, specifically for this track."

Di Grassi said he was hoping for a stronger weekend than Turkey, where he complained of a lack of power from his Cosworth engine throughout the weekend.

"With regard to the problems we had with the engine, we don't expect to have any similar issues this time," he said. "We need a clean start on Friday in Free Practice and to keep building from there. This will be my second race with the new chassis. I've done some work in the simulators to prepare for this race. The first two corners are pretty tight, so it will be interesting to see how 24 cars get through there at the start of the race because it was always pretty hair-raising when it was only 10 teams rather than 12."