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Q&A with Cosworth's Mark Gallagher 05 Feb 2010

Mark Gallagher Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 1 February 2010. Virgin Racing's Timo Glock in the VR-01, Silverstone, UK, 5 February 2010. First Cosworth CA2010 engines ready to ship © Cosworth

The maiden run of Williams’ FW32 at the Valencia test on Monday was a cause for celebration for not just the British team, but also their engine supplier Cosworth. As the company’s first Formula One foray since 2006, it’s an exciting time, and with the debut of the similarly-engined Virgin VR-01 on Thursday, plus a further three Cosworth-powered teams about to launch, it’s only going to get more thrilling. Mark Gallagher, general manager of Cosworth’s F1 Business Unit, reveals more…

Q: How important have this week’s activities been for Cosworth’s pre-season preparations?
Mark Gallagher:
We have been delighted to get started with pre-season testing in Valencia with Williams this week as it was our first opportunity to run the CA2010 in the back of a race car with all of the implications that that brings. Developing and testing an engine in our facilities in Northampton is one thing but committing it to the track takes us into an entirely new phase of our programme.

Q: What work was carried out with Williams in Valencia this week?
MG:
Our work with Williams has been very important in order to collect data, driver feedback and to gauge the initial results from the marriage of the new CA2010 engine to the all-new FW32 chassis. Our first measure of performance was always going to be durability and the fact that Rubens (Barrichello) and Nico (Hulkenberg) completed over 1,200 kilometres between them showed that engine reliability has been in line with our expectations. We also looked at the overall success of the installation, seeing how the engine works together with the Williams’ transmission and checking all associated systems, pressures, cooling, temperatures. From a human point of view, Valencia was the first time that our dedicated team of track support technicians and engineers worked as an integrated part of the Williams team, which is a key aspect of the working relationship, so in that regard it was an important milestone. We now look forward to next week’s Jerez test where we can take our technical programme with the team to the next level.

Q: What do you make of the recently launched Virgin-Cosworth VR-01?
MG:
It was very rewarding to see the Virgin-Cosworth VR-01 unveiled this week and to welcome the first of our new teams into Formula One. We have developed a strong working relationship with Virgin Racing over the last few months and I’d like to congratulate Nick Wirth and his design team for the results of their efforts. We are doing all we can to support them from the outset of their F1 activities and when they join Williams in Jerez next week we will have two teams on track which will greatly enhance our pre-season activities.

Q: What work is Cosworth carrying out with Virgin Racing at Silverstone?
MG:
We are at Silverstone with Virgin Racing carrying out a basic shakedown ahead of the test in Jerez. Although the weather hasn’t been great today, the car has run as planned and it has been a useful opportunity to start understanding the new chassis-engine package. This will help ensure that we are able to make the most of next week’s important test in Spain.