Virgin on Monday confirmed reports that the Icelandic volcano spoiled the new team’s preparations for the Spanish grand prix.
We reported two weeks ago that because team personnel were stranded in Shanghai, the teams plans to debut two heavily modified cars in Barcelona this weekend might be affected.
With FIA clearance, Virgin has been busily designing a new chassis to accommodate a fuel tank big enough to take its cars to the end of races.
Because the sport’s freight was held up for several days in China, the new British team only had a single VR-01 monocoque to work on at its UK factory.
In a statement on Monday, Virgin said it would have needed the “three full weeks of manufacture, homologation and race preparation” to get two modified cars up and running for both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi in Spain.
“As a consequence, Virgin Racing will debut only one revised chassis in the Spanish grand prix this weekend, which Timo Glock will put through its paces,” read the statement.
Glock commented: “I have done some work in the simulator in preparation for this race and we have a good idea of what to expect from the modified chassis, so I’m looking forward to seeing how we shape up when we hit the track in Barcelona this week.”
Technical director Nick Wirth admitted that running the two fundamentally different specifications of cars in Spain “will certainly challenge the team”.