Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying – Marussia Virgin Racing
Free Practice 3 & Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya,Barcelona
Saturday 21 May 2011
The second day of running at the Circuit de Catalunya inBarcelonastarted off with the third and final Free Practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. It was another hot and sunny day, with an air temperature of 24°C. Jérôme D’Ambrosio reported that the track was still slippery at the beginning of the session, so both he and Timo Glock waited in the garage for the conditions to improve. With 20 minutes into the one hour session, they were out on track and completed a total of 38 laps between them as they continued to prepare for the race ahead.
For qualifying, the track temperature had climbed to 38°C but the session didn’t start as expected for Jérôme, as he experienced a hydraulic issue caused by a cut O-ring when he was just about to start his first timed lap. Meanwhile, Timo was able to complete a trouble-free first outing and after the improvement he made on his second run he was classified in 20th position. With only five minutes to go before the end of Q1, Jérôme joined Timo back out on track and was able to set a time on the Option tyre. He will start tomorrow’s race from 23rd on the grid.
“I think we had a good qualifying today. We had a bit of trouble with the first set of tyres as they didn’t work as they should and I was a little worried. The second lap was pretty spot on I have to say, although I made a small mistake in turn 7 as I was pushing so hard. We spent pretty much the whole of Friday not being able to concentrate on set-up and it’s been quite hard to get the old package working well again. We tried our best this morning and in the end it wasn’t too bad in qualifying. Now we have to focus on the race and just stay positive as we chip away at improving the car step by step.”
“It wasn’t such a smooth day for me today. For some reason in the morning session we couldn’t find the same speed that we had yesterday and then in qualifying I only really had one lap because I had a hydraulic failure during my first run. But even though it wasn’t the most straightforward session, the team did a great job to fix the car and we are in the race, so let’s see tomorrow.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“This morning Jérôme struggled to extract the same speed as yesterday from our race package, and his qualifying was then compromised by a hydraulic failure on his first qualifying run. The team quickly located the cause, a cut O-ring, and replaced it in record time, enabling him to get out on track, even though his time was not representative of either his or the car’s potential. Timo had a better session, although he had slightly less rear grip than we expected on his first run, but a tyre pressure adjustment enabled him to set a quicker lap. As for the race tomorrow, a two-car finish continues to be our goal. We are operating both cars in a specification that complies fully with the technical directive regarding engine/exhaust configurations issued to the teams last week by the FIA. We will continue to refine our recent upgrade over the forthcoming races.”