The rookie team was given FIA clearance to design an updated chassis when it was discovered that the VR-01’s fuel tank was not large enough to see it through to the end of most Grands Prix.
However, the Iceland volcano cloud left team personnel and equipment stranded in China, costing the team vital time in being able to update both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi’s cars in time for this weekend’s first European round of the 2010 season.
By Virgin’s estimations, it would need "three full weeks of manufacture, homologation and race preparation" to get both cars updated, according to a team statement.
"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," the statement continued.
Only once, indeed, has the team’s fuel consumption problems actually been put to the test, as the Virgin cars have typically broken down long before the chequered flag was even due to be unfurled!
Lucas di Grassis has recorded the team’s sole race finish so far at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and only by dint of some judicious fuel saving in the closing laps (pictured).
[Original image The Cahier Archive]