Virgin: A step forward since Melbourne
9 April, 2011
Apr.9 (Marussia Virgin Racing) Track temperatures of up to 40°C and humidity levels of 77% greeted the teams for this morning’s final free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The track conditions provided Marussia Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock and Jérôme D’Ambrosio with the opportunity to experience the Pirelli tyres on a high temperature track like the Sepang International Circuit. It was a trouble-free session where the team prepared for the crucial Qualifying session and Jérôme and Timo finished 21st and 22nd respectively after completing a total of 35 laps between them.
It was then time for the decisive Qualifying session. In similarly dry and humid conditions, Timo and Jérôme were straight out of the garage to establish a first timed lap before the track got too busy and before the circuit was red-flagged due to debris, during which all the cars were confined to the garage. With five minutes remaining, Timo and Jerome went out on track to improve their times, and they will start tomorrow’s race from 21st and 22nd position respectively.
“After Free Practice 3 this morning I’d say we had some problems as we couldn’t get the car to work like yesterday and we didn’t have the same speed. My Race Engineer and Performance Engineer worked very well together to come up with a good solution which ensured we got back the performance level that we had until then. I was a little unlucky on my second set of tyres when I hit traffic with Karthikeyan. I would have found a couple of tenths but this wouldn’t have changed our position today. We’ve done the best we can with the package so as ever we’ll be focusing on getting both cars home and making the most of every opportunity that comes our way – one of which may of course be the weather, as there is a chance of rain during the race.”
“I’m very pleased with the job we’ve done today. It’s definitely a step forward and I did a much better job than in Melbourne. I’ve learned a lot. I’m very happy with how we’ve worked this weekend and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow – it should be very interesting with the weather and pitstops playing a big part I think. Overall I’m quite happy with this second Saturday. I’m making progress and I’m happy with that.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“It’s been a weekend of mixed fortunes so far but today I think we can be pleased that we made the best of our package and qualified comfortably – a step forward since Melbourne. In fact we would still have qualified well inside the fastest Q3 time, so we are better off here in Malaysia for sure. I think if dry conditions prevail tomorrow it could be a long race, but then you never know what the tyres and weather have in store. There were a few showers in the neighbouring area today, although none of them affected the track action. So we will look forward to tomorrow and aim to get both cars to the chequered flag.”