Virgin technical director Nick Wirth says the MVR-02's first week of testing has confirmed hopes that it is a big step forward over the team's 2010 car, and that most of the reliability issues that compromised Virgin's rookie season have been resolved.
Timo Glock and Jerome D'Ambrosio's times at Jerez this week indicated that Virgin had closed the gap on the rest of the field, with Glock able to get up to eighth on Saturday with a time within 1.8 seconds of the pace. Although D'Ambrosio lost mileage to an engine issue today, Wirth felt reliability had been very encouraging overall.
"Overall, I am delighted with this positive first test for the MVR-02," he said. "Many of the systems that caused us problems last year have performed faultlessly and we've learned a lot. The team has gathered lots of basic aero data, pressures and loads, and conducted tests with the blown diffuser and moving rear wing and the data correlates well with our aero predictions.
"As with every new car, the test has revealed a number of small issues which we'll address quickly, but the main thing is that the basic package seems reliable, which was our first priority. We're still missing some parts, which has limited our basic setup and a bit of performance, but we'll have these for Barcelona. The car is a good step forward from last year, which is what we wanted."