Free Practice 1 & 2 for the British Grand Prix
Silverstone Circuit, UK
Friday 8 July 2011
Timo Glock and Jérôme d’Ambrosio got Marussia Virgin Racing’s home race underway in the first two Free Practice sessions for Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone today, the first time that the impressive new pits and paddock complex had been used in anger for Formula One.
The unseasonal weather conditions confined Timo and Jérôme’s MVR-02 racecars to the garage for much of the day, with Timo completing 17 laps while Jérôme lapped more than any other driver with 26.
Pirelli have brought the Hard and Soft compound Pirelli P-Zero tyres as Prime and Option, but the team did not use any of their allocation of dry tyres, running only on Intermediate or Extreme Wet tyres throughout the day, depending on the amount of water on track at the time.
The weather was varied throughout the day, with damp and rainy spells interspersed with sunshine. There was no dry line on the track, which had a peak temperature of 20°C and the air temperature climbed only as high as 18°C.
The second session started just a few minutes after a heavy shower and Timo was the first driver to venture out on track for a systems check. Periods of sunshine allowed occasional running, and by the end of the session Timo had added 10 more laps to his tally and Jérôme, who also elected to run a second set of Intermediate tyres, a further 13.
“We’ve experienced typical English weather today. It was quite wet in the first session, even though it dried towards the end, and I was generally happy with the car. During the second Free Practice we were waiting for better conditions and at the end I went out again on my first set of tyres from this morning. I was just driving around and waiting for the conditions to improve. My tyres were very worn and I ended up with a lot of aquaplaning, so I just focused on keeping the car on track.”
“A good day considering the weather, which obviously disrupted our programme and limited what we could do with finding a set-up. But for me it was good experience to be driving a Formula One car in the wet – it’s definitely a good track for that. We’re looking forward to tomorrow as the weather should be a bit drier, so we’ll see how it goes.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“Although the rain has provided us with the opportunity to conduct some further wet weather set-up on the Pirelli tyres, it has rather disrupted our planned programme. In FP1 we had intended to do some more aero evaluations on certain parts of the car and also gather some of the basic numbers we require due to the new pit lane layout. Both cars have stepped through some pre-planned wet set-up work, which we had in the bag should we encounter a wet session. Apart from Canada, which is a fairly unique circuit, we hadn’t had the opportunity until now to perform these tests, so I’m sure these will provide useful information which may not necessarily be applied here, but which may be used later in the year. It looks like the weather is set to improve over the next two days so tomorrow morning will be a busy session. I’m sure the engineers and mechanics will relish that first opportunity for some dry running in order to set the car up for qualifying.”