Lucas di Grassi said his first impression of the new Virgin-Cosworth VR-01 was extremely positive after driving the car in the second day of its shakedown run at Silverstone yesterday.
Timo Glock gave the VR-01 its debut on Silverstone's short Stowe circuit on Thursday, and then stayed in the car for another 42 laps on Friday morning before handing over to di Grassi.
"It feels good. It feels like home!" said former Renault test driver di Grassi after his 36-lap run. "I'm really happy and our first impressions of the car are very positive. It's amazing what the team has achieved in such a short space of time."
The team will now join next week's group test at Jerez – where Virgin will become the first of the new entrants to test alongside the established teams.
"I think we have a strong car and a great team to get things started in Jerez," di Grassi said. "It was important for me to learn as much as possible here so I can start to put some real mileage on the car next week."
Designer Nick Wirth was also pleased with how smoothly the shakedown had gone. "I am delighted that we have successfully shaken down the VR-01," he said. "To achieve 100km of running out of the box is a great achievement with only a few minor issues along the way. We have acquired some good information to feed straight back into design for the development of new parts, which we may even be testing next week. All in all, this is a very pleasing conclusion to a memorable week for Virgin Racing."
Team boss John Booth added that the shakedown showed how well Virgin's crew had gelled already. "Our shakedown provided our very first opportunity to work together as a trackside operation and it couldn't have gone any better," he said. "The way the team has come together to achieve such a successful shakedown has been commendable. I'm very proud of what we have achieved and we're looking forward to taking our place alongside the other F1 teams in the pit lane next week."