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Italian Grand Prix Qualifying – Marussia Virgin Racing

Free Practice 3 & Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix

Monza, Italy
Saturday 10 September 2011

The last Qualifying session on European soil took place today at the Autodromo Di Monza in Italy. Marussia Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock and Jérôme D’Ambrosio will start tomorrow’s race from 21st and 22nd positions respectively.

This morning, in the third and final Free Practice session, both MVR-02 cars took to the track with the new upgrade package. Jérôme had a smooth practice session but unfortunately Timo had an issue with the DRS on his final run with the Pirelli P-Zero soft tyres.

With a track temperature of 44°C and an air temperature of 29°C, both drivers left the garage when the light went green for the start of the Qualifying session. Timo experienced the same problem with the rear wing as in the morning and after 9 difficult laps qualified 21st. Jérôme had a trouble-free session and will start tomorrow’s race from 22nd on the grid.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
“A disappointing qualifying. We had a problem with the rear wing – it just stayed open and didn’t close again. Then after a certain speed it just closed on its own. We have never had a problem with it before and didn’t have anything wrong yesterday, so we have to look at this and resolve it because it’s not very comfortable to experience that. It was very difficult and frustrating because we were very close to Kovalainen today and close ‘enough’ I think. With the wing working properly, who knows?”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25
“Today’s wasn’t a bad qualifying and I’m generally very happy with it. I think it was difficult to try and get a tow as there was quite a lot of traffic and that made it even harder. But I felt very comfortable again in the car and in general I’m very satisfied. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race – it looks like it’s going to be a very close one.”

John Booth, Team Principal
“Jérôme’s car crew had quite a busy evening, fitting the upgrade package to his car. Overall this went very well and it was interesting to hear Jérôme’s comments in FP3. The numbers yesterday seemed to show a healthy advantage and Jerome’s comments this morning seemed fairly positive. Both cars stepped through more set-up work this morning. Timo experimenting with wing levels and Jérôme establishing a good balance on the new package. Unfortunately, we had an issue on Timo’s soft tyre run with the DRS system not deactivating correctly, which cost him significant time as he effectively ran with no DRS. We spent quite a bit of time over lunch going through his rear wing in detail and found some issues which we corrected and everything seemed fine in the garage before qualifying. As is often the case with these fairly complicated systems, there can be more than one fault and during qualifying Timo again experienced the issue. We clearly have to get to the bottom of the issue before the race. In terms of our competitiveness, the field seems to have closed up and the gap to the guys in front does seem less. However, as always we will treat this with some caution until we get back to a more representative circuit. Given the smaller gaps in the field and hopefully with Timo’s issue fixed, both drivers can look forward to what should be a more interesting race tomorrow.”