Boss praises Virgin teamwork

VIRGIN Racing recovered from more pre-race problems to card their second two-car finish of the Formula One season—with team boss John Booth saying: “It’s a fantastic reward for all the hard work.”

After the flop in Monaco two weeks earlier, the Dinnington team needed a quickfire response in Istanbul on Sunday with both revamped Virgin cars on the grid for the first time.

But when Lucas Di Grassi’s car suffered a major power loss 24 hours before the race it looked as though the team’s hopes would be dashed—only for the garage crew to burn the midnight oil and switch engines.

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Further problems then surfaced - this time with the engine oil system - with just an hour to spare before the race. The turnaround, including removing the engine from the back of the car, was an incredible feat of teamwork, with the Brazilian out on track from the pit lane seconds after the lights went green.

It all paid off as Di Grassi followed team-mate Timo Glock home with Virgin taking a morale-boosting 18th and 19th positions to lead the new teams.

Said Booth: “To finish the race with both cars and as the best of the new teams is a fantastic reward for the whole team, who worked incredibly hard all weekend to contend with the various issues that cropped up.

“After the power loss issue with the engine yesterday, the very last thing we needed just an hour before the race was an issue with the engine oil system, which had us taking the car to pieces to get to the engine when we would have been in the final throes of our race countdown.

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“On one side of the garage we were calmly executing the grid sequence with Timo, but it was quite a different story on the other side of the garage where the guys were faced with the seemingly impossible odds to get Lucas’ car together and out into the race. They were an absolute credit to us.”

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