Today was the fourth and final day of the opening pre-season test at the Circuito de Jerez, where Luiz Razia brought the Marussia F1 Team programme to a close with his second outing in the new MR02.
Further race distance mileage was the order of the day, during which the Team would also gather essential aero test and tyre data to feed back into the development cycle.
The programme was not without its frustrations as the Team got to grips with some areas for development then, testament to the fact that anything can happen in pre-season testing, the progress of the whole field was interrupted when a hole surfaced out on track at mid-day and the Circuit needed to effect some hasty repairs.
Once the Team were able to get up and running again, Luiz completed the race distance before heading into performance evaluation work. Although he was posting improved lap times, his runs were somewhat stilted which prevented him gathering any real momentum.
Luiz Razia: “It is unfortunate that we didn’t get the smooth day of running we hoped for, but we have to be happy to have completed most of our programme with the MR02 this week. Testing is the place to work through our problems, so we don’t have to find them during the season, and resolving these is in itself good progress. I got the chance to do some of the planned performance work later on, but I didn’t get a clear shot at it so I don’t feel like I ended the day where I could have been in terms of lap time. What is good is that there is a lot of potential and we can see this very clearly. I’m very excited about the next two tests and I expect to see us making good steps forward. For now, I will reflect on a busy but exciting first week as a Formula 1 driver and what I myself can do to keep developing. I would like to thank the Team for welcoming me back so enthusiastically and I am happy that we have established a good working relationship already. All good things from here, I’m sure.”
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team: “We leave Jerez today feeling very encouraged with the understanding we have achieved of the MR02 and the progress we have made gathering data to feed back into the development cycle. The week has not been without its frustrations, but that’s all part and parcel of pre-season testing and we are naturally keen to find any issues with the package early so we can iron them out for the next two tests and the season. In the free air we have achieved out on track, we have taken great encouragement from the baseline performance of the car and the obvious potential for development as the season progresses.
“We’ve had a very busy week with our new drivers, bringing them further into the fold – particularly Luiz, who hasn’t had the benefit of driving our 2012 package. Both he and Max have performed very well and even at this early stage we can see that we are in for an exciting season as they reveal even more of their own potential. Importantly, they are working well ‘together’ which will be key to extracting the maximum from team and car this season.
“Perhaps the most satisfying thing about this week’s test is the fact that we are in completely different shape to how we were this time last year. Heading into Australia we had just 100kms of mileage to our name, whereas we leave Jerez tonight having achieved almost 1000kms of running and a good deal of data for the engineers to pore over next week. All in all, a very good start for us and our partners Cosworth and Williams Advanced Engineering.”