Virgin fail to end season with two-car finish

THE 2011 Forumla One season came to a disappointing close for Virgin Racing on Sunday, as they failed to end the campaign with a two-car finish.

The Brazilan Grand Prix was tinged with irony, as outgoing Belgian driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio finished in 19th position, but Timo Glock – who is being retained by the team for next season – was unable to reach the chequered flag.

Glock’s premature exit from the race, at the Interlagos Circuit in São Paulo, was through no fault of his own however.

The German had to retire after a problem with his left rear wheel, during his first pit stop on lap 22.

A clearly frustrated Glock said: “A very disappointing way to end the season.”

“It’s a real shame to have had to retire after losing the left rear tyre after my first pit-stop but unfortunately these things happen.”

“So it wasn’t the way I would have liked to end the season but, anyway, I want to thank the team for all the effort they have put in during the whole year.”

D’Ambrosio was delighted to end his season, and his one-year stint with Virgin, on a high.

Speaking after the race the youngster said: “I think today was a great race and a great way to finish the season for me.”

“We did a good job in qualifying yesterday and today was one of my best races so far.”

“I want to thank the team, I have really enjoyed working together with them this year.”

D’Ambrosio’s place on the grid next year will be taken by Frenchman Charles Pic.

The 21-year-old impressed at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, after two seasons in the GP2 series, and he can’t wait to get winter testing started in February.

“I like the team a lot; we worked well together in the test and I feel very comfortable,” he said.

“They want to do things the right way and I can see that there is a lot of determination to succeed, so it is very special for me to be part of that.”

“I’m looking forward to working hard in every area over the winter to ensure I am ready for the start of testing and my first Grand Prix.”

Team boss John Booth, who will move south as the team relocates from Dinnington to Banbury, said Pic was a long term target.

“We naturally keep a close eye on the junior formulae and Charles is certainly someone we have been watching over the past few years.”

“He has an extremely mature head on young shoulders, so I have no doubt that he will be working very hard over the winter to prepare for his debut season.”