Virgin says 2011 car progressing well

Preparations are in full swing for the 2011 season, according to Virgin Racing F1 CEO Graeme Lowdon

Virgin says 2011 car progressing well

The team has opted to shift the majority of its focus to the development of the 2011 car, with technical director Nick Wirth no longer travelling to races in order to concentrate on the VR-02.

"Nick was already heavily into the 2011 car and trying to do the races as well and as the build was progressing it became more and more important that he was back at base with the car," said Lowdon.

"It's very well on, there's a lot of things getting machined, manufactured and delivered. It's a huge job building the car in the first place but it certainly needs Nick's full attention."

Despite having more than an eye on next year, the team still hopes to take aerodynamic upgrades to the remaining three flyaway races this year.

"I think what you'll see from our team is, because it's not expensive to do, every time we see an upgrade through the CFD programme we will make the bits," added Lowdon.

"That said, there are less guys working on running stuff on the current configurations and there is more work being done on the 2011 car. There is a lot more resource there then there was a year ago.

"We had to design the current car in such a short space of time from a standing start. There is an awful lot of extra knowledge that's gone into next year. It already looks different I can tell you that."

The team also insisted it is set to retain the services of lead driver Timo Glock for next season.

"We have a contract with Timo for next year. We have an option with Lucas who is doing a really good job with the team. There is a lot of competition for seats because there aren't that many around so we are in a good place.

"The key thing for the team point of view is just to make sure we have the right mix and the right level of technical feedback moving forward. We'll see how things go over the next few weeks."

Virgin will continue to evaluate rookie driver Jerome d'Ambrosio, with the young Belgian likely to see more action on Fridays, according to Lowdon: "I think he has done a fantastic job in both sessions. Certainly we will keep working with him. We will do another couple of sessions and we have half a day with him [at the young driver test] at Abu Dhabi."

The team will also field development driver Luiz Razia in the test next month, with the young Brazilian GP2 driver set to get a full days running.

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