Formula 1: Sand in the gears at Virgin Racing

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Formula 1: Technical problems at Virgin Racing
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B by the British newcomer team Virgin-Cosworth So far not much has come together in Melbourne: After the hydraulic and transmission problems at the season opener in Bahrain, power transmission remains an ongoing issue in Australia. In addition, the Xtrac hydraulic system, which is classified as outdated, is still annoying.

On top of that, the British team will also have to modify the chassis before the start of the European Formula 1 season to accommodate a larger tank - problems on all fronts.

Big problems in Melbourne training

Friday was a disaster for the Virgin team: Virgin driver Timo Glock only managed 17 laps in two training sessions. In the first training session, the 28-year-old suffered a gearbox damage. Team-mate Lucas di Grassi had the same defect at the beginning of the second training session. A short-term modification was unsuccessful, and the deconstruction to the original state did not bring any improvement either: In the second free practice, Timo Glock had to start the pit with gearbox problems again.

Technical Director Nick Wirth does not deny the problems, but emphasizes the positive ones Seiten: 'After all, Lucas di Grassi was able to complete 25 problem-free laps in the first session on Friday. But it is also true that we then had problems with the transmission oil lines on both cars in the afternoon. When di Grassi's car was repaired, it went straight away Another telemetry sensor was broken, so that he could only do two laps in the second training session. '

Clogged filter again stops repairs

Meanwhile found the reason for the misery in power transmission. A filter is interposed in the oil circuit, which regularly clogs after a few laps. This increases the transmission oil temperature. To prevent kindling, the command post brought the drivers back to the pits early.

On Saturday morning, Wirth was certain that the problem had been resolved. But in the third free practice Timo Glock had to start the pits again after only 12 laps: The filter in the transmission oil circuit was clogged again. Fixing the problem is also extremely time-consuming because the corresponding filter is mounted very hidden.

Fuel problem stops further development

The Formula 1 paddock meanwhile made himself about the much too small tank of theVirgin racing car funny: The British team had to apply for a special permit from the FIA ​​to convert the chassis for a larger tank before the race in Turkey. According to the F1 rules, chassis modifications are prohibited during the season.

How did this lapse happen? 'We determined the tank volume in June 2009', justifies technical director Nick Wirth. 'Various factors were responsible for calculating the tank volume, some of which changed again later due to rule modifications.'

The chassis conversion forces the Virgin team to postpone planned aerodynamic updates because the wheelbase of the chassis has to be lengthened for the installation of the larger tank. 'And then you would have to throw all aero updates again at the beginning of the European F1 races', explains Virgin team boss John Booth.

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