Sir Richard Branson’s team withdrew after completing just 11 laps at Jerez, southern Spain, when Timo Glock’s front wing fell off.
Worrying for Virgin, however, was the fact that Glock was running a full nine seconds off the fastest lap of the day before the failure was identified.
Technical director Nick Wirth insisted the team were aware of the source of the problem and said they planned to continue work this morning.
He said: “This morning we experienced a front wing mounting problem which caused the wing to come off the car at the beginning of a run. The cause has already been identified.
“Unfortunately, we’re missing one or two spare parts which will hopefully arrive this evening, so we won’t be able to run for the rest of the day.
“In the short amount of running that we’ve achieved so far, we are very encouraged by what we’ve seen and we have gathered some vital aero data which is very much in the range of what we were predicting.”