The Marussia F1 Team enjoyed a relatively smooth opening day of practice in Monte Carlo today in preparation for Sunday’s 71st Grand Prix de Monaco.
The two free practice sessions served to highlight up and down the field just how unforgiving the tight and twisting streets of the Principality are, with no margin for error. Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton emerged relatively unscathed from the experience of their debut F1 sessions here and built on their performances throughout the day to finish in 19th and 21st positions at the close of the afternoon session. Jules was ahead of the Team’s immediate competitors whilst Max was able to split the two Caterhams.
It has been a good day for us and I have really enjoyed my first experience of Monaco in a Formula 1 car. It was everything I imagined it to be and I am pleased that we have established a good baseline that we can build on during the rest of the weekend. The fact that we have no running tomorrow means that we have more time than usual to focus on the data we have gathered today, so we should be able to draw some good conclusions that will help us to prepare for Saturday and the race.
This track is amazing in a Formula 1 car and just as exhilarating as I thought it would be. It has been a busy day but we were able to complete the full programme we had planned and I think we are reasonably confident based on what we have seen so far. Once again the big challenge will be managing the tyres through the race but the work we have done today means we have plenty of information to help us make good choices for the race.
John Booth, Team Principal
Both drivers have had a clean start to their Monaco debut in an F1 car. The programme we set out was based around giving them plenty of laps for circuit familiarisation, along with some more detailed tyre evaluations in FP2. We’re reasonably happy with the performance and pace of the car but there is definitely work to do to improve their race pace on the tyres. Fortunately we have the added advantage of an extra day to go through the information we have gathered today and at least we can be happy with the initial pace of the car.