After 31 laps it was all over for Lucas di Grassi. Once again. The hydraulics went crazy, the differential and the circuit too, and the V irgin Racing VR01 in the tire wall.
It was Lucas di Grassi's fourth day of testing in preparation for his GP debut in Bahrain. So far, the 25-year-old Brazilian has only driven 609 kilometers. Stars like Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa or Rubens Barrichello are already past the 3,000 kilometer mark. They know Formula 1 in their sleep.
Fine tuning in Formula 1
Di Grassi's apprenticeship in GP2 lasted three years. The tall man from Sao Paulo never became a master. Nonetheless, the second league of motorsport gives him good tools: 'That's where I learned the basics of racing: Accelerate, brake, drive with different levels of downforce. But the fine-tuning that only comes in Formula 1.'
Of course the debutant would like to drive more, but he is calm that his Virgin still suffers from teething problems. 'We have to go through that. My apprenticeship continues in the first races.' He doesn't allow himself to be frustrated with the long breaks: 'It's not what I want, but I had to expect that. Frustration would be out of place now. On the contrary, I have to motivate the guys in the team.'
Not many possibilities for comparison
Since the car of the new team is difficult to assess compared to the competition due to the frequent idle times, di Grassi does not have many possibilities for comparison .. 'We have not a large database like the others. I can only compare myself with myself. Or with my team-mate. '
Di Grassi thinks of Timo Glock very well. 'Timo has a lot of experience. He has driven all kinds of racing cars. And he knows what is important in Formula 1. I listen to him and try to learn from him. The positive thing is that we both feel the same in the car.' /p>
A lot of work in the simulator
Since the test kilometers are only progressing slowly, di Grassi has to bridge the days between tests in the simulator. 'Of course it's not the same as racing, but it helps in certain areas. For example, to get to know racetracks. Or totrying out certain setup directions. Or to experiment with driving style. '
The Virgin a moody racing car. But its driver can live with it:' If I were to drive for an established team, I would have to set myself a specific goal. In my situation, I can grow with the team. I develop myself and the car at the same time. '