Cosworth returns to the track with AT&T Williams and Virgin Racing Cosworth has enjoyed its first Formula 1 track action as an engine supplier since 2006 as the company accelerated preparations for the 2010 season with two of its customer teams this week.
The AT&T Williams team carried out a three-day test session at the Valencia circuit in Spain, putting Cosworth’s CA2010 V8 engine through its paces in earnest for the first time at a race track. The new Virgin Racing team unveiled its Cosworth-powered, digitally-designed VR-01 race car for the first time on Wednesday before carrying out an initial shakedown of the new car at Silverstone today.
Q+A with Mark Gallagher, General Manager Cosworth F1 Business Unit
How important have this week’s activities been for Cosworth’s pre-season preparations? “We have been delighted to get started with pre-season testing in Valencia with Williams this week as it was our first opportunity to run the CA2010 in the back of a race car with all of the implications that that brings. Developing and testing an engine in our facilities in Northampton is one thing but committing it to the track takes us into an entirely new phase of our program.”
What work was carried out with the AT&T Williams team in Valencia this week? “Our work with Williams has been very important in order to collect data, driver feedback and to gauge the initial results from the marriage of the new CA2010 engine to the all-new FW32 chassis. Our first measure of performance was always going to be durability and the fact that Rubens and Nico completed over 1,200kms between them showed that engine reliability has been in line with our expectations. We also looked at the overall success of the installation, seeing how the engine works together with the Williams transmission and checking all associated systems, pressures, cooling, temperatures. From a human point of view, Valencia was the first time that our dedicated team of track support technicians and engineers worked as an integrated part of the Williams team, which is a key aspect of the working relationship, so in that regard it was an important milestone. We now look forward to next week’s Jerez test where we can take our technical program with the team to the next level.”
What do you make of the recently launched Virgin-Cosworth VR-01? “It was very rewarding to see the Virgin-Cosworth VR-01 unveiled this week and to welcome the first of our new teams into Formula 1. We have developed a strong working relationship with Virgin Racing over the last few months and I’d like to congratulate Nick Wirth and his design team for the results of their efforts. We are doing all we can to support them from the outset of their F1 activities and when they join Williams in Jerez next week we will have two teams on track which will greatly enhance our pre-season activities.”
What work is Cosworth carrying out with Virgin Racing at Silverstone? “We are at Silverstone with Virgin Racing carrying out a basic shakedown ahead of the test in Jerez. Although the weather hasn’t been great today, the car has run as planned and it has been a useful opportunity to start understanding the new chassis-engine package. This will help ensure that we are able to make the most of next week’s important test in Spain.”
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