On the last of four days of testing at Jerez on Saturday, the new Virgin team finally began putting some representative laps on the board.
It has been a torrid first ever test for the new British team, having grappled with a front wing failure and faced criticism that choosing to pen the VR-01 without a wind tunnel was not a wise idea.
Between Wednesday and Friday, the car circulated the Spanish circuit little more than 20 times, without setting anywhere near a competitive lap time.
When Saturday dawned wet again, the Virgin car remained stationary in the pits, despite a hurriedly-designed new front wing having been dispatched from the factory.
“As was the case with the early issues we encountered with last year’s championship-winning LMP1 Acura, the harder you work, the luckier you get”, read part of a press release issued by Wirth Research.
True enough, Saturday’s grey Jerez skies soon brightened, and at around lunchtime Virgin moved to put its woes in the past, with Lucas di Grassi at the wheel.
The Brazilian’s 13-lap run featured lap times several seconds slower than the pace, which just before 2pm was headed by Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes.
Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel all triggered red flag periods with car stoppages, and also testing on Saturday are Rubens Barrichello, Robert Kubica, Pedro de la Rosa, Jaime Alguersuari, Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil.