VIRGIN Racing’s fuel tank blunder is to cost a whopping £1 million.
But the good news is that the car re-design, following the weekend’s revelation that the tank is too small for full power race distance, won’t cost John Booth’s Dinnington team a penny.
Nick Wirth, who designed the car entirely on computer, is expected to foot the bill after Virgin were given the green light by the ultra-strict FIA to change its homologated chassis. The tank was found to be between 15-20 litres too small ahead of last Sunday’s Melbourne race.
Work is now under way, but it isn’t expected that the new cars will be ready until the European season starts with the Spanish Grand Prix next month.
Said Wirth: “It has become clear during pre-season testing and our debut race in Bahrain that our fuel tank capacity is marginal. If not addressed there is the possibility that fuel pick-up could become an issue in certain circumstances.
"We thank the FIA for permitting this change. At the time the design of the tank was locked down in June 2009, its capacity was determined by a number of factors, some of which have since changed. The tank capacity now needs to be increased accordingly.”