Cosworth continues solid start to 2010 season
Four points for Rubens Barrichello, Williams and Cosworth
Cosworth’s solid start to the 2010 Formula One World Championship continued at the Australian Grand Prix with AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello converting eighth on the grid into eighth in the race, and adding another four championship points to his tally.
For the second race in succession, Barrichello was the highest ranked Cosworth-powered driver, with the Brazilian also making it through to the final part of Saturday’s qualifying session and, crucially, closer to the pace of the front-running teams. His fastest race lap, 1m29.210s, was the fifth fastest of the 58-lap race, marginally faster than the best of race winner Jenson Button, and just 0.8s adrift of the outright best.
Formula One’s new teams - Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing and HRT F1 – continued their adaptation to motorsport’s top flight with determined performances throughout the weekend. Lotus took best rookie honours in both qualifying and the race with Heikki Kovalainen battling to 13th place at the chequered flag, two laps down from the race winner.
The Australian Grand Prix was also a breakthrough event for the HRT F1 team. With no pre-season testing and only limited laps in Bahrain, the team’s drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna were able to get significant mileage across the three days at the Albert Park circuit. Chandhok registered his and the team’s first ever Formula One finish with a classified 14th place.
The poor weather conditions and an early safety car deployment (for an incident in which the Williams-Cosworth of Nico Hülkenberg became innocently caught up) contributed to a positive race from an engine point of view with lower than usual fuel consumption over the 58 laps.
Cosworth’s CA2010 once again performed reliably with no mechanical problems reported by any team during the weekend, even with the greater mileage on the various units. A total of 11 Cosworth engines have been utilised in accordance with the engine usage plans developed by the four teams to date, the only unexpected replacement being the unit driven by HRT’s Bruno Senna in Melbourne. He was forced to change his engine after a chassis-related failure in Bahrain.
The four Cosworth-powered teams have accumulated a total of 7,160kms over the course of the first two Grand Prix weekends, adding to the 11,500kms of trouble free pre-season testing enjoyed by the CA2010 unit.
Cosworth’s F1 Business Unit General Manager Mark Gallagher said: “Another satisfactory race weekend from an engine point of view. Our teams were all able to put good mileage on their engines in Australia and we experienced no mechanical problems over the three days. The race was certainly exciting and it was good to see Rubens pick up more championship points for Williams-Cosworth. Well done also to HRT for achieving their first race finish with Karun. After two race weekends, we have a better understanding of where performance deficits lie within each of the chassis-engine packages of our four teams. We are pleased with the performance of the CA2010 so far, but we are working hard with each of our teams to optimise performance. I should also add that hard work and dedication of the Cosworth track support technicians and the staff back at our UK base have helped ensure these first Grands Prix have gone as well as they have.”