Virgin Racing

Spanish Grand Prix Practice – Marussia Virgin Racing

IT’S GO IN SUNNY SUNNY SPAIN

2011 Spanish Grand Prix, 20-22 May

Circuit de Catalunya,Barcelona

FREE PRACTICE

Friday May 2011

After conducting its first ever straight-line aero test at the Idiada Proving Ground inSpainfive days ago, Marussia Virgin Racing was back out on track today at the Circuit de Catalunya for the first two Free Practice sessions of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

As a result of the aero test, some modifications had been made to the new floor and exhaust package, to cure the heat-management issues experienced inTurkey. In order to maximise the data gained today, the team opted to run Timo Glock’s car with the new package, and use the previous floor and exhaust design on Jérôme d’Ambrosio’s car.

With warm and sunny conditions and a track temperature of 27˚C, the morning started with both Timo and Jérôme out on track early for their installation laps. They then waited in the garage for the track conditions to improve. Both cars ran faultlessly and by the end of the session Timo had completed 25 laps and Jérôme had managed 18.

In the afternoon session, the track temperature had crept up to 44˚C and again both cars were able to complete their planned programmes. Jérôme put in 36 laps during the course of the session and Timo 28.

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“I personally had a good day; it was really about analysing different compounds, especially with the new hard tyre that we’ve been given here. I did some long runs at the end on them, and I think that was quite useful. I think it’s very important that we all sit down together now, and really see what’s happening on Timo’s car with the new package. That’s really the next step for us, we need to combine my work with Timo’s and see what we can come up with for tomorrow.”

Timo Glock

“At the moment we are focusing on getting to grips with the new exhaust, so we can’t do much in terms of setup or balance work. Today has mainly been about gathering data. It’s not easy but I think we made some progress and we are starting to understand the philosophy of it. Now we have a lot of work to do overnight before we decide whether to keep the system on the car for tomorrow and the race.”

 

John Booth, Team Principal

“As a result of our recent straight-line test, we decided to run a split programme whereby Timo would run with the new aero package and work on engine mappings and diffuser setup with Jérôme focusing solely on tyres due to the new Hard compound we have here in Spain. It looks to have less degradation than the previous version although initial lap times with it aren’t as good. That should again provide for an interesting race with a variety of strategy options. Overnight, we’ll be looking at the data and comparing the two exhaust and diffuser packages, as well as making a careful check of the components. We’ll then decide which specification to put on the car. The new package certainly has a lot of potential; it’s a great pity that Timo was hampered by so much traffic when he was running the Option tyre and was unable to show its true potential.”