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Fuel tank not big enough for Virgin to finish races

Virgin has been given a green light by the FIA to make a substantial change to its 2010 chassis.

Although the chassis is homologated for cost reasons and therefore not able to be modified, it has emerged that the new British team discovered that the fuel tank in the VR-01 car is not big enough.

In fact, with normal engine settings, the Cosworth-powered car – if sufficiently reliable – currently would not make it to the end of a race, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

It is believed Virgin has been permitted to make the change, which will not be ready for a few more events, on the grounds of the ‘cost or reliability’ test.

The magazine said the revised chassis, to require a longer underbody, new engine cover and other bodywork, should be ready to debut in Spain in early May.

The situation, however, has put on hold any other car improvements for Virgin, given that it would make little sense to introduce new bodywork now if it must be substantially revised for the new fuel tank package in Barcelona.

Auto Motor und Sport also reports that a tweaked diffuser is not the only altered piece on the 2010 McLaren in Melbourne this weekend.

The report said the FIA requested that the Woking based team also alter a blade dimension on its front wing.