Trouble free weekend for Virgin drivers

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IF THERE were points given for reliability in Formula One, then Marussia Virgin Racing would be in the middle of the standings.

But the reality is speed dictates whether or not drivers can upset the natural order of motor sport’s premier competition.

Although Virgin’s drivers Timo Glock and Jérôme d’Ambrosio crossed the chequered flag at the European Grand Prix for the fourth time in eight races yesterday, the Dinnington-based team remain nearly five seconds slower than nearest rivals Team Lotus.

Glock qualified and finished in 21st position following a trouble free weekend while d’Ambrosio came 22nd at the Valencia street circuit. All the cars on the grid finished, only the third time in the history of the sport has that happened.

Virgin’s senior driver Glock made a superb start to the race, gaining three places on the opening lap.

He said ‘everything ran smoothly’ over the weekend and he had ‘no real problems’.

“I had a very good opening lap and I overtook both the Lotus cars and a Toro Rosso, although he got right back past me straight away,” said Glock. “Once the DRS was enabled I couldn’t keep Heikki (Kovalainen) and Jarno (Trulli) behind me and after that I just ran my own race.

“It’s a bit of a shame to have a good race and still finish 21st where you started, but with nobody having technical issues or first lap incidents, that’s all you can do.”

Team principal John Booth added: “We now head back to the factory for a longer than usual period, ahead of our home race at Silverstone. We are all very excited about working in the new pits and we’re hoping to keep up our current momentum for the next few races.”

A rampant Sebastian Vettel extended his lead to 77 points at the top of the championship after a pole to flag victory in Spain. It was his sixth success in eight races this season.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso came second and Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber also finished on the podium.