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Wickens in action for Virgin

NEWS STORY
14/09/2011

Robert Wickens was in action for Virgin yesterday as the Russian team completed its third straight-line aero test of the season.

In addition to learning more about the car, the Vairano outing provided a further opportunity for a rising talent from the outfit's Young Driver Programme to gain their first experience in an F1 car. This time, it was the turn of the team's reserve driver Robert Wickens, who is currently leading the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship.

After introducing an aerodynamic upgrade to the car last weekend at Monza, the team headed straight to Vairano to continue to understand and optimise the package. As Monza is a unique track, they took the opportunity to run in high-downforce specification to complete more aerodynamic correlation work.

Wickens completed 130 miles in the MVR-02 enabling the team to gather plenty of data with which to further develop the package.

"It was great to work with the team in this way," said the Canadian. "Driving the car is obviously a natural step in my progression and education as a reserve driver with Virgin. 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 program. It was a good day and I was happy to sample the car for myself, albeit in a straight line, having watched Timo and Jerome behind the wheel for the past couple of months!"

"It was a slow start to the day due to an issue with the engine," revealed John Booth, "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."

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