Mixed fortunes for Virgin team

The Marussia Virgin Racing team had only one finisher in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, with a flying expedition ruling out a 100 per cent record.

Without the customary tropical rain storm it was an uneventful race for the Dinnington-based team’s lead racer, Timo Glock, who managed to stick to a two-stop strategy, to be classified in 16th position.

Team-mate Jérôme D’Ambrosio retired with less than 15 laps to go, when a bouncing off-track excursion and a heavy landing managed turn off the car’s power switch, causing it to stop out on the track.

MVR Team Principal, John Booth,said: “Both drivers drove well and we were a little better off in terms of pace, but what worked well for us is the way we have been able to manage the tyre degradation we saw earlier in the weekend and get ourselves to a position where we only needed to stop twice with each car.

“On the face of it we are obviously disappointed that we weren’t able to get both cars home but generally we can be very pleased with a strong team performance in the race,”

What the team needs to find as soon as possible, is some increased downforce to give the cars much faster lap times. Otherwise they could fail to qualify for the race, by falling foul of the 107% (of the pole position) lap time rule.

Glock feels optimistic that this will happen soon: “Everything is working well, apart from the steps we still need to make in performance terms, so we are looking forward to what our development package can bring after China in time for Europe,” he said.

lSheffield driver Richard Plant made an impressive start to his Porsche Carrera Cup GB career by taking a top six finish at Brands Hatch.

It followed on from the 21-year-old’s encouraging seventh in the previous day’s season opener.