I had a look at the revised Virgin VR-01 being driven by Timo Glock this weekend, which includes a larger fuel tank which should allow him to reach the end of the race without having to slow down to save fuel.
Enlarging the fuel tank has meant lengthening the wheelbase of the car, leading to the team nicknaming the new version ‘Limo’.
I took a look at the new floor yesterday (no pictures I’m afraid!) which includes a more aggressive ‘triple’ diffuser, something which other teams on the pit lane are also using. The team are expecting a significant increase in downforce from this particular update.
The team have also had problems with fuel pick-up, meaning that when the tank is almost empty they’re struggling to feed the engine. The updated car includes a fix for that too.
The team has switched fuel cell manufacturers to ATL, the same make used by the other teams. One mechanic spent much of yesterday squeezing the new tank into Glock’s car – a complicated process made more difficult by the limited visibility inside the tank.
Further forward the VR-01 sports a longer engine cover which the team assure me is not solely to draw attention to one of their new sponsors.
A new front wing with extra downforce-generating elements is one part of the package of updates which Lucas di Grassi will be able to use, even though he is still in the original version of the VR-01.
He will get to drive the ‘Limo’ for the first time in Turkey. Here in Barcelona, a track which requires a fuel-sapping high-downforce set-up, he will be forced to save fuel during the race if there isn’t a safety car or rain.