HALF AND HALF
2011 Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, 15-17 Novemer
Tuesday 15 November 2011
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
It was a busy opening day of running in Abu Dhabi today as the Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit began in earnest for Marussia Virgin Racing.
It was never going to be anything other than another hot and sunny day, with a starting ambient of 25˚C and a track temperature of 35˚C greeting the arrival of the ‘Young Guns’ this morning. The team ran two drivers on Day 1 – Marussia Manor Racing GP3’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in the morning and Charles Pic this afternoon – as part of its three-day test programme.
More than just an appraisal of outright pace, the team had prepared a detailed evaluation programme designed to examine every aspect of a driver’s all-round potential, also including decision-making, quality of feedback and an appreciation of engineering procedure.
The programme also facilitated the testing of 2012 developments, including gearbox and engine installation parts.
Charles Pic is back in the car tomorrow.
“I have to start by saying a very big ‘thank you’ to Marussia Virgin Racing for this fantastic opportunity today. It’s been a great experience and I’ve learned a lot. This morning I began with some CSL (constant speed limiter) runs on the straights so the team could conduct some aero measurement work and then I got into the programme properly. I ran two sets of new tyres and just began chipping away as I learned more about the car and how it reacts. Overall I’m pleased with the day and it’s been a huge experience for me.”
“Today I had my first run in an F1 car, so it was a very special day but with a lot of new things to learn. The high speed corners and braking were things I had to adjust to, but I felt my acclimatisation went well. I’m very happy with this first step. At the end, we decided that some changes we need to make would take some time, so it was better to wait until tomorrow and save a set of tyres. Wednesday will be a big day for me as there is a plan to do a lot of tyre testing, so it is an opportunity I am really looking forward to as I will be able to learn all the types of tyre and see how they react. I am really enjoying working with the team. They have been very welcoming and helpful, so I am happy with my first day of testing.”
John Booth, Team Principal of Marussia Virgin Racing
“An interesting day throughout the pitlane with a lot of new talent running. Both Adrian and Charles followed a very similar programme, which was designed to ease them into circuit running in an F1 car. We’re very happy with how both of them have performed today. Both used the Soft Pirelli tyre, with Adrian perhaps slightly disadvantaged by the track temperature and Charles by only using one new set. We specifically chose to use the same tyre compounds as used by the race drivers last weekend to give the drivers a better reference, rather than using the Supersoft compound which has clearly been shown to be the quicker tyre over one lap today. All in all, a good job from both drivers.”