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Posts tagged “Timo Glock

Marussia Virgin Racing Launch Their 2011 Car

Marussia Virgin Racing have launched their car to take on the 2011 world championship in a lavish London ceremony.

The Marussia name now preceeds Virgin following a major tie up with the Russian sportscar manufacturer and the team at the end of 2010.  It has led to the new car being designated as the MVR-02.

Designed purely by CFD last season, the VR-01 was largely disappointing mostly due to reliability issues, but the Cosworth powered team are hoping for better things this season.  The new car is a clear advancement on last seasons machine, in a similar fashion to Team Lotus, the experience of a season with development has led to a much tighter  overall package being produced.

The Virgin features a much lower front nosecone than we have previously seen, and there is also an interesting exhaust design at the rear of the car – whether that is forcing some form of blown aerodynamics at the rear end we do not know.

Nick Wirth, head of design at the team was clearly very happy with the new car, citing a serious gain in aerodynamic strength and reliability.

“Since the middle of year we worked on process, we calibrated how fast we had to improve and what did we have to work on,” he said.

“We have done a huge amount of development of physics and what we are doing to catch up with everyone.”

“The back of car is heavily regulated from last year, and we managed to take this car and not only catch up where we were, but go above it in terms of aero efficiency – in every single way this car is faster and better than last year.”

The car still retains its red and black paintwork, but this year has some white thrown into the mix to make quite a good looking machine.  Various high profile sponsors including of course Virgin and Marussia, but also QNET and CSC have retained sponsorship with the backmarkers providing a good financial base.

Timo Glock will race the car for a second season alongisde promoted rookie Jerome D’Ambrosio who ousted 2010 racer Lucas di Grassi from the race seat.

Glock, 28, says he is hopeful of a big step forward this season.

“We want to grab points in first races and then work from there,” he said. “We are much more sorted out, more structured, we have one year experience so we should be on a good way.

“But we have to realistic, we were 3-4 seconds off the pace last year and you never catch 3-4 seconds in winter time, so we have to make some improvement and then move up.

“I am hoping for a realistic step. I am happy to do a proper step over the winter with the team together and be strong in first races. When you see back to lots of crashes and technical problems – that is where we struggled last year and that is where we have to be strong.”

 


Alonso Fastest On Final Day Of Pirelli Tests

Fernando Alonso was the fastest man on the second and final day of the Pirelli tyre tests at Abu Dhabi.

The Spaniard, who came close to winning the 2010 World Championship, set a fastest time of 1.40.529.  That was around a tenth quicker than second placed man Michael Schumacher who has clearly taken to the Pirelli tyres better than team mate Nico Rosberg.

World Champion Sebastian Vettel was third, while McLaren testers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey were 6th and 7th.

Pastor Maldonado, linked heavily with a 2011 Williams drive, was out for Hispania once again and finished in 14th place just ahead of Virgin’s Timo Glock.

Pos  Driver              Team         Time       Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari      1m40.529s  105
 2.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes     1m40.685s  74
 3.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull     1m40.825s  66
 4.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams     1m41.294s  100
 5.  Robert Kubica       Renault      1m41.614s  91
 6.  Gary Paffett        McLaren      1m41.622s  46
 7.  Oliver Turvey       McLaren      1m41.740s  30
 8.  Paul di Resta       Force India  1m41.869s  35
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber       1m42.110s  43
10.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso   1m42.145s  97
11.  Tonio Liuzzi        Force India  1m42.416s  46
12.  Sergio Perez        Sauber       1m42.777s  46
13.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus        1m44.521s  83
14.  Pastor Maldonado    Hispania     1m44.768s  65
15.  Timo Glock          Virgin       1m44.783s  82

 


Sutil Keeping His Options Open On Future

Adrian Sutil, the talented Force India driver has told GrandPrix.com that he is keeping his options open with regard any future race seats.

The German driver, who has begun to start scoring consistent points finishes with Force India had until recently spent majority of his F1 career at the back of the grid.  However with a rejuvinated Force India team results had been going his way, and he currently lies 10th in the championship ahead of the likes of Rubens Barrichello.

Things have not been quite so rosy for him in the last two races though.  At his home event at Hockenheim, a pitlane error caused him to finish the race at the back and saw his team get fined.  Then last weekend in Hungary he scored a DNF following a collision with Robert Kubica.

Sutil has been courted by teams in the past, but this is the first time he has openly suggested he may move.  With the top teams all being locked down for 2011, his main option for move appears to be with Renault.  Talented Russian Vitaly Petrov could be on his way out of the team, and Sutil is in high contention for the race seat fighting against the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Timo Glock and Bruno Senna.

“I’m happy at Force India but I want to move forward,” Sutil said this morning

“The top teams are pretty much closed, so it’s hard to find a better seat than here.

“Scoring points regularly was my goal for this season and next year I want to improve again, whether it’s somewhere else, or here.”

He added: “It’s a tough decision to make right now.

“If you are signing up for something like three years and you’re not confident the team is better, then you shouldn’t do it.”


Hungarian GP 2010: Webber Wins As Strategy Pays Off

Mark Webber took victory in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix thanks to a good strategy and some fantastic laps following a safety car period which turned the race from sedate to absolute chaos.

Fernando Alonso came home in 2nd place, a good points haul for the Ferrari driver while pole position sitter Sebastian Vettel failed to convert his grid place into a race win.

Race Review

Hungarian Grand Prix are not known to be particularly exciting, and following the first few laps it looked like nothing would be different today.  Jaime Alguerusari was an early retirement thanks to a major engine failure, and to add insult to injury the young Spaniard dropped oil all over the circuit.

Sebastian Vettel provided majority of the early entertainment with some scorching laps, pulling away from Fernando Alonso who had the pick of the starts slotting himself ahead of Mark Webber despite being on the dirty side of the grid.

Another notable start was from Vitaly Petrov, the young Russian who managed to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton.  He slid off and threw that away though, but it was promising from him, we like his style.

On lap 13, a piece of Tonio Liuzzi’s front wing came off and a safety car was called out to retrieve it.  Vettel’s lead was gone and everyone dived into the pits.  Chaos ensued, with Robert Kubica being let out of his pit box straight into the path of Adrian Sutil.  They collided, Kubica would later be penalised with a 10 second stop/go.  While this was going on, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes parted company with its rear right tyre which bounded down the pitlane at high speed, missing mechanics, hitting one and eventually being caught by a brave Sauber man.  Unbelieveable stuff.

Mark Webber chose not to pit, and with some help from Vettel backing the pack up the Australian pulled away, his soft compound Bridgestone’s lasting longer and longer.

Vettel was then given a penalty for not staying close enough to the safety car, exceeding 10 car lengths.  He had to serve a drive through penalty, something the young German was not happy about.  He flailed his arms around like a baby throwing its toys out of the pram – not very sportsman like.  Still, this meant he was now down to third and with easily the fastest car he set about chasing Fernando Alonso.

However despite catching him rather quickly, Vettel was unable to dispatch the Ferrari of Alonso and eventually finished 3rd.  Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa, finished 4th a good points haul for the Scuderia.

Right at the end of the race we had an exciting battle with old wounds being opened, between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.  The Brazilian fought to get passed Schumacher, his former team mate and arch nemesis and with a handful of laps to go he tried to squeeze down the inside of Michael.  Schumacher, in typical style, forced Rubens into a corner and gave him just enough room.  At about 200mph, Barrichello was milimeters away from hitting the pitwall, a manoeuvre that he called “Erratic” and “Ridiculous”.  However Schumacher defended the move, and has been handed a 10 place grid penalty for the next race.

Webber’s win puts him right back in it thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s break down.  It means that Alonso too is only a matter of points away from the top, as Red Bull and Ferrari slog it out at the top.  McLaren will certainly be hoping for a turn in their fortunes after the summer break.

Race Result

Pos Driver Team Time
1 M. Webber Red Bull Renault 1.41.05.571
2 F. Alonso Ferrari +17.821
3 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +19.252
4 F. Massa Ferrari +27.474
5 V. Petrov Renault +1.13.100
6 N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth +1.16.700
7 P. De la Rosa Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
8 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +1 lap
9 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
10 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +1 lap
11 M. Schumacher Mercedes +1 lap
12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
13 V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes +1 lap
14 H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth +3 laps
15 J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth +3 laps
16 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth +3 laps
17 B. Senna Hispania Cosworth +3 laps
18 L. di Grassi Virgin Cosworth +4 laps
19 S. Yamamoto Hispania Cosworth +4 laps

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 25 Gearbox
R. Kubica Renault 25 Unknown
N. Rosberg Mercedes 17 Wheel Failure – Pitlane
A Sutil Force India Mercedes 17 Pitlane Incident
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 2 Engine Failure

Penalties – Post Race

Team/Driver Penalty Reason
M. Schumacher 10 Place Grid – Next Race Dangerous Driving
Mercedes Benz $50,000 Fine Wheel falling off Rosberg’s Car
Renault $50,000 Fine Releasing Kubica into Sutil’s path causing accident in pit

Senna Wants Driving Standards Improvement

Bruno Senna, who drives for the Hispania Racing Team says he wants driving standards in Formula One to improve, especially around the back of the grid where he currently is.

Senna, who is the nephew of the late Ayrton, was infuriated by Timo Glock’s chopping sides of the track at Valencia which caused the Brazilian to lose his front wing.  Glock, who races for Virgin, was later penalised for ignoring blue flags.

“It is happening a lot this year where drivers who are overtaking other drivers are just chopping in front too many times,” Senna told Reuters.

“With the front wing sizes we have, everybody is losing front wings. The amount of front wings that are being damaged or lost, and punctures on the rear tyres, is ridiculous.

“Even if you are not competing for position, sometimes they just chop in front of you.”

When asked if the issue should be raised with the stewards, Senna replied: “I think it’s maybe a good idea. We need to see what can be done.”


Virgin VR-01 Shakedown At Silverstone

Virgin Racing’s first ever Formula One car, the VR-01 was shakendown at a brief test at Silverstone yesterday.

The new car, which has been developed through Nick Wirth’s dveelopment team at Manor racing took tentative steps out onto the damp cold circuit in a momentous occassion met with raptuous applause and delight from the mechanics.

The team were originally scheduled to enter F1 under the Manor name before Richard Branson came in with sponsorship and funding in exchange for a large stake of the team.

“After 10 challenging months, all the commitment and determination has finally paid off,” said Nick Wirth, Virgin’s technical director.

“Today was all about those tentative first few steps but the programme really gets underway tomorrow with a full day of on-track evaluation for both Timo and Lucas [di Grassi].”

Timo Glock took the car out yesterday and new f1 driver Lucas di Grassi gets his hands on it today at the British based circuit.


Virgin Launch Their Car The VR-01

Virgin Racing have launched their new car, the first of the “new teams” to do so with the covers finally coming off the VR-01 today.

The launch was supposed to be broadcast live, but a major technical glitch left fans and reporters sat watching a black screen, and the joke was most certainly on Virgin who beamed about their car being designed exclusively on computers – and they couldn’t even get a video stream working.

Nevertheless we finally saw the new car which is quite a looker, in a black and red livery quite similar to the former Midland F1 cars of 2006.

The sponsors are there, which makes a change to some of the more recent launches.

“Today is a very proud day for everyone involved with Virgin Racing, however on this occasion, where the car is the star, I want to pay tribute to all the amazing people at Wirth Research who deserve so much of the credit for the VR-01,” said designer Nick Wirth.

“Putting together an F1 team, assembling an engineering group and designing a new car from scratch is an epic task in the timeframe we have been working to.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best designers in F1 and I am well aware of exactly what it takes to be successful in this sport. When you see what the existing teams have achieved using the conventional but proven design approach, it is unsurprising that there is a great deal of scepticism about our all-CFD approach.

“But we are competing in a sport that is undergoing significant change having come face to face with today’s harsh economic realities. Under resource restriction, convention will become too costly and necessity really will be the mother of invention. I have absolute belief in the digital design process and the opportunity to put the all-CFD approach to the test at the highest level – to demonstrate that this could be the way for the future of F1 – is very, very exciting.”

Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi will be driving the car, originally bought into F1 under the Manor moniker and now known as Virgin from Richard Branson’s business group.


Virgin Racing Gets Official Launch As Di Grassi Confirmed As Driver

Virgin Racing has officially launched its new F1 programme in London today.

The team, originally known as Manor GP, will be backed heavily by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.  The British born businessman was very interested in brand exposure through F1, following a successful sponsorship year with the Brawn GP team.

The “worst kept secret” in the world as it was joked was confirmed as the team took the opportunity to show off their drivers, logo and also have a chat with the world’s media at a lavish morning in Notting Hill.

Timo Glock was confirmed as a driver some weeks ago, but Lucas Di Grassi comes to the team with a deal penned in the past few days – he tested with Renault recently at Jerez.

He comes from success in GP2.

“It feels great to be here, it’s a dream come true for me after two years of being a test driver, and from that and from GP2 I feel I’m ready and am very confident in this team,” said di Grassi.

“We’re here to race, not to do politics or mess around, we’re here to race.”

The team also confirmed their test drivers as  Alvaro Parente and Luiz Razia.

“I’m going to do my best to do a good job. It’s great to be with this team and there’s going to be a lot of success.” Parente said

The team’s sporting director John Booth said he was delighted with the line-up.

“I have 20 years’ experience working with drivers,” he said. “I have been privileged to work with some fantastic drivers in that time and I hope that’s helped in giving me an eye for a good driver.

“The four drivers we have here are the four we wanted in our line-up, they’re the perfect drivers.”

The colours of the team appear to be black with white and dashes of red.

Branson at the launch


Could Panasonic Guarantee Kobayashi Renault Seat?

There are reports from a French motoring magazine Auto Hebdo that talented and highly rated rookie Kamui Kobayashi could get a race seat with Renault for 2010 making him Robert Kubica’s team mate.

Kobayashi has been left as a refugee without a drive for next season following Toyota’s withdrawl from F1.  Following a couple of good showings at the end of the season standing in for injured Timo Glock, it would seem that sponsorship could pave the way into struggling Renault.

That sponsor would be Panasonic, the huge electrical firm who were Toyota’s title sponsor from inception in 2002.  The producer of popular products like Televisions and Blu-Ray players want to keep a presence in Formula One.  With Renault struggling to find sponsors following crash gate this could all be a match made in heaven.

If Auto Hebdo is to be believed Kobayashi and Panasonic representatives met Renault in a meeting at the Brazilian Grand Prix.  Also helping Kobayashi’s plight is most likely rival Timo Glock being announced with Manor Grand Prix.


Glock Makes Shock Move To Manor GP For 2010

Timo Glock has announced he will be driving for the newly formed Manor GP racing team in Formula One next season.

Glock, 27, was linked with a move to Renault after his former team Toyota pulled out of Formula One a few weeks ago.

Now the 2007 GP2 Champion will drive for the new team, powered by Cosworth engines and likely to be sponsored and backed by Richard Branson’s Virgin group.

“I had several options for 2010, some of them with more established teams,” said Glock.

“Every driver has the same overall objective – to win the world championship one day – but the way I want to succeed is to be part of the process of building a team and to play a key role in developing the car. This is why the opportunity with Manor Grand Prix is so exciting for me.

“I have spent a lot of time with [technical director] Nick Wirth, [team principal] John Booth and other members of the team and what I liked most is that this a real racing team run by true racers.

“The team may be small and new but it has big ambitions and a very impressive car and development programme. I am confident that I can play a big role in terms of my technical input and that’s a fantastic opportunity for me. I can’t wait to start testing the new car early next year.”

With Jenson Button now clearly heading to McLaren, we are literally waiting on an official announcement it leaves the door at Renault open for a various number of drivers, but most likely for Kimi Raikkonen – Renault really are the last team left who could afford the 2007 F1 Champion.