The Virgin Racing team continued to be hindered by reliability problems as the Australian Grand Prix weekend began.
After a difficult season opener in Bahrain in which both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi retired from the race, neither man could get much running in today's practice sessions. Glock managed 17 laps in total after being hit by a gearbox oil leak in the morning. Di Grassi, meanwhile, managed a respectable 25 rounds in the morning but failed to set a time in the afternoon.
"With Lucas this morning we had a good session," said technical director Nick Wirth. "The target was to test the car and give Lucas plenty of acclimatization laps – which we achieved successfully. This afternoon he had a problem with a gearbox oil line which delayed us at the start of the session. Once he got going again he was further delayed by a failed real-time telemetry sensor, and as it isn't possible to run the car without it, we had to change it. We tried to get out again before the end of the session, but unfortunately just missed out.
"For Timo, the morning was, unfortunately, dominated by a problem with the gearbox oil system. We managed to solve our issues over the lunch break, but it required a lot of work and caused a delay to the start of his second session. He went out toward the end of the afternoon and was quite happy with the car, considering his lack of running.
"Obviously, today was not as smooth as we would have liked but we've made progress since Bahrain so the team will stay focused on the positives."