Marussia: Suspension failure curtails first day

Max Chilton

Max Chilton

Straight after the Marussia F1 Team revealed its 2013 challenger – the MR02 – to the media this morning, the Team got its 2013 pre-season testing programme underway at the Circuito de Jerez.

With a brand new driver in a brand new car, the main thrust of the morning’s programme was acclimatisation. The Team is running KERS for the very first time so there was a detailed focus on systems and procedures, as well as getting to grips with the range of Pirelli PZero tyres available for the test.

Max left the garage shortly after running got underway at 09.00hrs CET and was immediately at home in the MR02. He steadily built his performance from there.

The Team took time out over the lunch period to conduct routine checks with the KERS and other systems before Max took to the track again for his afternoon programme. It was shortly after he had embarked on this that an issue with the right rear suspension became apparent forcing Max into a spin. The Team decided to curtail its running as a precaution while further inspection is conducted with the specific component.

Max Chilton: “This afternoon’s problem aside, I’m really happy with the start we have made to our 2013 campaign. With a new car there is always the potential for something to crop up and cut short the programme, but for the morning period everything went according to plan, which is just the start we needed. I’m sure the Team will get on top of the suspension issue very quickly so we can all pick up where we left off and start putting some more miles on what is obviously a very promising package.”

John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team: “Up until the afternoon session we really couldn’t have been happier with the way things were going for us with the car and Max. It was a big day for him but he has been his characteristically mature and assured self, and as a consequence of that and a very seamless morning’s running, we have every reason to feel encouraged by our big picture. In terms of the specific issue we encountered this afternoon, we will naturally ensure we conduct a thorough inspection of the component in question and see what solution we can bring to recommence our programme.”