Q&A with Cosworth's Mark Gallagher 27 Oct 2010
The rain-hit inaugural Korean Grand Prix proved a successful event from Cosworths point of view, highlighting the importance of engine reliability with another technically trouble-free weekend for their CA2010, which powers the Williams, Lotus, HRT and Virgin teams. Williams drivers Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg both competed strongly before tyre wear and a puncture dropped them back to finish in seventh and tenth positions; the teams fifth double points finish in the last eight races. All three new teams were ready to make the most of the attrition with Lotuss Heikki Kovalainen finishing the race in 13th ahead of Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto, who registered HRTs best combined result of the season in 14th and 15th. Timo Glock ran strongly in the top 12 for Virgin until Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi crashed into him on lap 30, forcing him to retire.
Mark Gallagher, the general manager of Cosworths F1 Business Unit, reflects on Yeongam
Q: How was the Korean Grand Prix from Cosworths point of view?
Mark Gallagher: We would like to congratulate the organisers for staging such a successful and exciting event. The large number of spectators that turned out were treated to a great show and I have a feeling that Korea will come to be viewed as an extremely valuable addition to the F1 calendar. As the fifth largest motor vehicle manufacturing nation Korea provided an ideal opportunity for Cosworth to showcase its brand and promote the electronics and engine technologies that it supplies.
Q: How did Cosworths customer teams fare?
MG: AT&T Williams and Cosworth were frustrated that both FW32 cars did not make it through to Q3 at Yeongam, given the teams strong run in qualifying in recent races. Their race pace was good and it was unfortunate that tyre problems prevented them from placing higher. We saw some determined drives from the new teams with HRT registering their best two-car result of the season and Lotus Racing once again putting in a solid performance. However I really feel sorry for Timo Glock who was very unlucky after running so well and really showing the performance that the Virgin Racing team is capable of.
Q: Did Cosworth encounter any technical issues?
MG: It is never easy preparing for a race at a new venue, but our engineers had conducted a thorough analysis of the track, which helped ensure free practice got underway smoothly. As expected, the track got better the more rubber that went down, but in the end it made little difference because of the wet conditions we faced on Sunday. Engines are not normally put under as much stress on a wet track with numerous safety car periods, but it was still good to see the CA2010 uphold its reputation for performance and reliability.
Q: Are Cosworths customers worried about the number of engine lives for the final two races?
MG: Cosworth is on target in terms of our engine use plan with all four of our teams, although the wet conditions in Korea and the number of safety car interventions should have been a welcome opportunity for any concerned teams to conserve their engines. Together with our customers we are looking forward to Interlagos and Abu Dhabi.
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