Virgin vs HRT

The battle not to be slowest in Formula 1 is building with intensity, with Virgin Racing introducing a ‘B’-spec upgrade for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, while rivals Hispania Racing are talking up their chances of overhauling their fellow stragglers at Istanbul.

After a dismal start to their sophomore season in Formula 1 with the rather agricultural MVR-02 challenger, Virgin Racing is pinning its hopes on a major aero upgrade – including a higher nose, new floor, Red Bull-like exhaust, modified rear suspension and new wings – will stop rivals HRT from snapping at their heels this weekend.

“By our own admission it’s been a difficult start to the year, but we actually started doing something about that when we realised back in testing that we had not met our targets,” team boss John Booth is quoted as saying.

“The extent of our upgrade package for the start of the European season is significant to say the least. Aerodynamically it’s a new direction for us and we’re hopeful that it will help us start to turn the corner, although with such a major step it may take us some time to tune it to the race track.

“We are of course mindful of the fact that everyone should have taken a step forward ready for Europe, so we will have to see how we’ve fared versus the rest of the field.”

However, the team has only managed to build enough parts for one driver, and lead driver Timo Glock will enjoy the (hoped) advantage of the new upgrades this weekend.

Meanwhile, HRT has set its sights on overtaking Virgin Racing this weekend, with the Murcia-based squad announcing it will be introducing its own updates for the upcoming Grand Prix.

With the design work being carried out by Geoff Willis, the team is introducing a raft of mechanical and aero updates to its F111 challenger, which team boss Colin Kolles believes will bring his team closer to its rivals.

“I believe that the Turkish Grand Prix should see Hispania Racing take the next step,” he is quoted as saying.

“Istanbul Park is a track that, due to its nature, should be favourable for us. Add to that the fact that we have aerodynamic and mechanical updates for this race and I think that, if the data is confirmed on track, we should be able to beat our closest rivals.

“Our aim for the weekend is to close the gap with respect to our closest competitors in qualifying and fight for positions in the race, hopefully getting both cars over the finish line. Hispania Racing has made significant progress since the start of the season, we are working very hard to improve and definitely will improve.”

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.