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Virgin declare VR-01 shakedown a success 08 Feb 2010

Virgin Racing's Lucas Di Grassi in the VR-01, Silverstone, UK, 5 February 2010. Virgin Racing's Lucas Di Grassi in the VR-01, Silverstone, UK, 5 February 2010. Virgin Racing's Lucas Di Grassi in the VR-01, Silverstone, UK, 5 February 2010. Virgin Racing's Timo Glock in the VR-01, Silverstone, UK, 4 February 2010.

In a few days’ time Virgin Racing will pit their 2010 car against those of their rivals at this week’s Jerez test, becoming the first of this year’s four new teams to debut their car alongside the more experienced squads. But thanks to a productive shakedown at Silverstone last week, the team are feeling confident that their VR-01 can more than hold its own.

“Our shakedown provided our very first opportunity to work together as a trackside operation and it couldn’t have gone any better,” said team principal John Booth. “The way the team has come together to achieve such a successful shakedown has been commendable. I’m very proud of what we have achieved and we’re looking forward to taking our place alongside the other F1 teams in the pit lane next week.”

After conducting a few exploratory laps on Thursday, the team knuckled down to some serious running on Friday with driver Timo Glock covering 42 laps of the UK track in the morning, and team mate Lucas Di Grassi completing 36 laps after lunch. It was Di Grassi’s first outing as a fully-fledged Formula One driver - and he enjoyed the ride.

“It feels good,” said the Brazilian. “It feels like home! I’m really happy and our first impressions of the car are very positive. It’s amazing what the team has achieved in such a short space of time. I think we have a strong car and a great team to get things started in Jerez. It was important for me to learn as much as possible here so I can start to put some real mileage on the car next week.”

Nick Wirth, Virgin Racing’s technical director, added: “I am delighted that we have successfully shaken down the VR-01. To achieve 100 kilometre of running out of the box is a great achievement with only a few minor issues along the way. We have acquired some good information to feed straight back into design for the development of new parts, which we may even be testing next week. All in all this is a very pleasing conclusion to a memorable week for Virgin Racing.”

After finishing up at Silverstone, the team have packed up and will journey to Spain for this week’s test at Jerez, which gets underway on Wednesday.