Belgium Grand Prix Practice – Marussia Virgin Racing

Free Practice 3 & Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Friday 26 August 2011

The first two Free Practice sessions for the Belgian Grand Prix took place today at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, marking the start of the second part of the 2011 Formula One season following the summer break.

This morning Jérôme D’Ambrosio ran on his home circuit for the first time in an F1 car, although his first appearance in front of his Belgian fans was fleeting as the rain very quickly confined him to the garage again. Thanks to the typically changeable Ardennes weather conditions, both Timo and Jérôme were only able to complete 13 laps each.

At the start of the second Free Practice session the track was still damp but the sun was shining. Both Timo and Jérôme were able to spend more time on track than in the morning. It started raining halfway through the session and it was Timo who broke the silence and went out under these tricky conditions, unfortunately touching the white line and spinning. But he recovered well to complete 23 laps and Jérôme added another 21 laps to his tally.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
“It’s been a typical Friday in Spa and we could say that the weather dictated the day today. We were able to drive in wet and dry conditions and the car felt good. The morning session was not too bad and in the afternoon we tried to do some running in dry conditions, which was okay. The tyres are not perfect at the moment so we still have some work to do.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25
“It’s great to finally drive here at my home track and in front of all my Belgian fans. I had been waiting for this moment for a long time. Unfortunately, the typically Belgian weather made it a difficult first day as we would have liked to have completed some more laps in dry conditions. We have to continue working hard but I feel good in the car – it’s great to be at home.”

John Booth, Team Principal
“A slightly frustrating day in some respects, as most of our planning as usual was based around a dry session and we had plenty of items we wanted to evaluate, in particular in P1. But at least we have furthered our knowledge of the Pirelli Intermediate tyres. Most of the day was centred on trying different rear wing levels, as well as trials of some different front wings. The tests of these components are perhaps not as scientific as we would like due to the changeable conditions but we have gained some useful information which we will use overnight. There is a chance of rain tomorrow in Qualifying so both drivers have had a reasonable amount of time to prepare their wet set-ups. However, with the race looking almost certain to be dry, we will have to take some decisions and compromises overnight.”