Day two of Marussia Virgin Racing’s four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya saw the team begin its final race preparation programme in readiness for the season-opening Grand Prix in Melbourne in a little over two weeks’ time.
The session began in cool conditions, although the temperatures soon lifted to provide improved track conditions as Jérôme D’Ambrosio worked towards some longer runs in the MVR-02 to begin evaluating the hard tyre compound for the first three races.
Jérôme was making good progress and had completed 42 laps when an electrical problem stopped the MVR-02 out on track late morning, causing some damage to the gearbox internals. This confined the car to the garage until mid-afternoon as the team worked to fix the fault and remedy the damage. A quick turnaround saw the car back on track with sufficient time to notch up a further 22 laps before the afternoon session closed, bringing the day’s tally to 64 laps.
The team hopes for a more productive fault-free day tomorrow to continue to put the Pirelli PZero tyres through their paces over some increasingly longer runs, working towards a race distance.
“Today has been a little frustrating as we lost valuable track time. The mechanics worked very hard to get me back out on track as quickly as possible, so with the laps that we did complete we have at least been able to gather some useful information. We still have a lot of work to do so we look forward to a trouble-free day tomorrow so we can start to move things on a little with our tyre evaluation programme.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“It was disappointing to lose track time on a day when we really wanted to start getting stuck into our race preparation work, but on the positive side we did well to recover and again demonstrated our ability to turn the car around quickly when faced with an issue. Touch wood, our reliability has been relatively good so far, so it’s quite pleasing that we got to the bottom of the problem so quickly and applied a good solution. We also worked through some suspension geometry changes in order to try to optimise the performance of the tyres with race stints in mind. We hope to have a clear run at the programme tomorrow in order to continue the good work we have started.”