The fourth and final day of pre-season testing provided ideal conditions for the two race drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton to run through some final race weekend preparation and pitstop scenarios ahead of their Formula 1 racing debut in Melbourne in two weeks’ time.
Jules was in the car for the morning and completed 62 laps to end the session 9th out of 11 drivers. His fastest time was a 1:23.167. This now brings his pre-season testing mileage up to 632kms/136 laps over one and half days in the MR02.
Max took over the car for the afternoon where he completed a similar programme in his first session on a dry track with the new aero upgrade. His best time was a 1:24.10 after 49 laps.
Jules Bianchi: “I think it was a very positive morning for me and the Team as we did a lot of work and kept improving throughout. The pit stop work was very important and although this took away some of my time for performance work, I think it is essential for us to be fully prepared. We have maximised the one and half days of running I have had and the weather has remained good for me, so I feel happy with what we have achieved. I am ready for Melbourne. Next week I will visit the UK to do some work on the simulator and I will also go to the Marussia Technical Centre for the first time to meet the rest of my new Team. There is a lot to squeeze in over a very short space of time, but I can relax on the plane next weekend. Before that, I want to fit in as much as I can. My thanks again to everyone for a very quick but warm introduction to the Marussia F1 Team. I think we can have an exciting and positive season together.”
Max Chilton: “Overall I’m very pleased with the work we’ve done this week, exploring different set-ups in varying conditions. This range of experience will help us a lot in the first few races when we are likely to experience a few different extremes I think. The work we’ve done this afternoon with live pitstop scenarios will also be very useful. It would have been nice to have ended a positive week with a little more performance focus, as in the short amount of time we had at the end of the day I wasn’t able to get the best out of the tyres when the conditions were cooling again. From the positive signs in the dry earlier in the week though, I’m happy and feeling prepared and confident for Melbourne now. The Team have done a great job to get the most out of the three pre-season tests and let’s look to the season now for a positive reward for all the hard work.”
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team: “The main focus of the morning session was practice for Jules and the race team. The pit crew were quickly up to speed after all the practice over the winter and Jules had a good grasp of all the various procedures pretty early on. It was a vital element of our pre-Melbourne preparation and although it took two hours out of our performance programme, I am sure it will pay dividends. It was good to get an hour’s worth of testing as this produced some interesting results. Initially we struggled on the Medium tyre and Jules was much happier on the Soft. Nonetheless we captured some good data as there were some reasonably significant set-up changes during the runs.
“This afternoon the programme was broadly the same for Max, but obviously with the performance work falling at the end of the respective sessions, he didn’t get the best track conditions and therefore the best experience with the tyres.
“Overall I think we have achieved as much preparation as possible to take us into the opening race in Melbourne in two weeks’ time. Max has a bit of everything under his belt after so much time in the car across a variety of conditions and set-ups. Jules has done a good job in the limited amount of time he has had in the MR02. I’m not sure we could have asked any more of either of them.
“Finally, a great job by everyone in the Team, both trackside and back at base, for a very positive pre-season testing period. We’ve achieved 904 laps and 4003kms, which is a very healthy foundation with which to begin our season.”