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Virgin allowed to fit larger fuel tank 26 Mar 2010

Lucas di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Racing VR-01 Formula One Testing, Day Four, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 28 February 2010. (L to R): Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing with Nick Wirth (GBR) Virgin Racing Technical Director on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 14 March 2010

The FIA has given Virgin permission to increase the size of their fuel tank on reliability grounds after the new team discovered it may not be big enough to get them to the end of the race at some events.

"It has become clear during pre-season testing and our debut race in Bahrain that our fuel tank capacity is marginal and if not addressed there is the possibility that fuel pick-up could become an issue in certain circumstances,” explained Virgin technical director Nick Wirth.

With teams having to homologate their chassis this season, the tank changes constitute a major modification to the VR01 and Virgin do not expect to be able to introduce a revised car until the early part of the European season, which starts in May with the Spanish Grand Prix.

"We thank the FIA for permitting this change,” continued Wirth. “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, and the tank capacity now needs to be increased accordingly.”

The small tank means Virgin could face problems at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix - where fuel consumption is particularly heavy - and may be forced to wind down engine performance in order to complete the race.