Virgin Racing has been given permission to change the size of its fuel tank after admitting that it cannot hold enough gas to get it to the end of some races.
With teams having to homologate their chassis this year, the Virgin outfit had to apply to the FIA to be allowed to make the major modifications on reliability grounds. As first reported Thursday, The team has discovered that the capacity of its tank does not allow it to fill up with enough fuel to comfortably get it through races, where consumption is quite heavy. This could prove to be a particular problem at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, with the Albert Park circuit being one of the most demanding in terms of fuel use.
Nick Wirth, technical director of Virgin Racing, hopes the modifications to the fuel tank can be made by the early stages of the European season, probably around the time of the Turkish Grand Prix.
"We recently applied to the FIA for permission to change the size of the fuel tank on the grounds of reliability and we are pleased that the FIA has granted us this permission," said Wirth. "It has become clear during pre-season testing and our debut race in Bahrain that our fuel tank capacity is marginal, and if not addressed there is the possibility that fuel pick-up could become an issue in certain circumstances.
"At the time the design of the tank was locked down, in June 2009, its capacity was determined by a number of factors, some of which have since changed, and the tank capacity now needs to be increased accordingly. We thank the FIA for permitting this change, which we expect to introduce in the early part of the European season."
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