Italian Grand Prix Practice – Marussia Virgin Racing

Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Italian Grand Prix

Monza, Italy
Friday 9 September 2011

The first two Free Practice sessions for Marussia Virgin Racing’s last European race of the season, the Italian Grand Prix, took place today at the legendary Autodromo Di Monza.

The team brought some new development to this high-speed track, so this morning Timo Glock didn’t do much performance running as the focus was on completing installation laps to check the car and collect valuable on-track data. Jérôme D’Ambrosio was one of the first on track for his installation lap. It was a frustrating start to the weekend though as Jérôme experienced an issue with the engine after 22 laps, while a sensor problem in the exhaust system confined Timo to the garage after completing only 12 laps.

The team worked hard in-between sessions to have both cars ready in time for FP2 and in the afternoon Timo was able to continue focusing on the upgrade while Jérôme evaluated the behaviour of the Pirelli P-Zero tyres. Both Timo and Jérôme were able to complete plenty more laps than in the morning – 25 and 34 respectively.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
“Not one of our best Fridays. I think we struggled quite a lot in FP1 with some technical and sensor problems and we couldn’t really complete the programme this morning. I was just hanging around for 45 minutes in the pits and I couldn’t run, so that left a lot of work to be done in the afternoon. In FP2 we put the car quite quickly in a good direction and I felt quite comfortable. It’s a bit difficult against the top guys here – they are quicker and the top speed difference can be quite big, so we have to look into that for tomorrow and try and make the car better and quicker. It’s still early to talk about the upgrade as we have to study the data, but I hope for a smooth Saturday.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25
“It has been a smooth Friday apart from the issue with the engine. Today wasn’t so much about me but more about the other car and the upgrade, which doesn’t look too bad. Now we have to study all the new data and wait until tomorrow, but for the moment it’s encouraging. In general my day today was very useful, getting ready for the race on Sunday. Tomorrow I hope we can continue to work like we did today.”

John Booth, Team Principal
“The morning session was more than a little frustrating! Due to the unique demands of Monza on downforce level and our revised rear aero package, both cars had essential data to collect in P1. Although the issue with Jérôme’s engine lost him some track time, fortunately he had collected much of the data that we needed on the various options for the low-downforce package. With Timo, a sensor problem on the new exhaust meant that essential logging runs took a little longer than they should have. Over the break, both sets of crews did a fantastic job to change Jérôme’s engine and also resolve many of the early teething problems we had on Timo’s car to allow both drivers to run a full session in P2. Overall, we’re fairly pleased with the data collected in FP2 and we are happy with the performance and reliability of the revised package. We will now apply it to both cars overnight and look forward to continue working with the upgrade in FP3.”