Wickens enjoys first straight-line test
14 September 2011 – Virgin Racing reserve driver Robert Wickens received the chance to have his first aerodynamics test for the team on Tuesday, marking the Sheffield-based squad’s third straight-line run of the year. The Canadian, who currently leads the Formula Renault 3.5 standings, was in action at Vairano in Italy.
Virgin headed directly to Vairano after the Italian Grand Prix in order to fully assess upgrades it had introduced at Monza. Running with a high-downforce setup for more aero correlation work, Wickens racked up 210 kilometres (130 miles) of running.
“It was great to work with the team in this way,” said the 22-year-old from Toronto. “Driving the car is obviously a natural step in my progression and education as a Reserve Driver. Like all drivers, I’m eager for seat time and the work we did today undoubtedly plays an important role for the team in its aerodynamic development programme.
“It was a good day and I was happy to sample the car for myself, albeit in a straight line, having watched Timo (Glock) and Jérôme (d’Ambrosio) behind the wheel for the past couple of months!”
Team Principal John Booth reviewed events:
“It was a slow start to the day due to an issue with the engine, however the Cosworth technicians working with the team did a good job to solve the problem as quickly as possible. From that point on, the day ran pretty much to plan and we have been able to collect a huge amount of data to analyse.
“Robert also did a great job in his F1 testing debut. It was his first time in the MVR-02 car and he adapted very quickly to the controls and steering wheel. It has been a very positive experience for him which he has handled very well.”