Marussia: Overall we can see positive signs and we are reasonably happy

The Buddh International Circuit is another new track for the Marussia F1 Team drivers, but both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton got their weekend off to a good start in today’s opening free practice sessions in preparation for Sunday’s 2013 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix.

Jules and Max ended both sessions in P20 and P22 respectively, with Jules splitting the two Caterham cars. The times amongst this pack are very close overall, which bodes well for a competitive weekend.

Max Chilton: “Today was a pretty long day of track learning given that this is my first experience of the Buddh International Circuit. I have struggled with the car balance all day, so that didn’t make the acclimatisation process very easy. It is also a demanding circuit so there is no margin for error and I had a few ‘moments’. We are trying a new part on the car, which we are weighing up whether we should run or not. Hopefully when we’ve had a look at the data from both cars and looked at all the options we can improve tomorrow.”

Jules Bianchi: “It is nice to finally get a feel for the Buddh International Circuit and I am pleased with how my first day has gone. We tried a few things on the car to provide us with some options for the rest of the weekend. Our times compared to Caterham are good, and we are pleased with the long run pace, so we are confident for the race.”

John Booth, Team Principal: “We have brought a small suspension upgrade to the cars this weekend and the run plan was for Max to use the new development throughout Friday, whereas on Jules’ car we opted to do the test in FP2. Obviously this made for a busy turnaround in the garage, however everything went to plan and we were able to achieve a good evaluation of the new development with Jules, whilst accumulating mileage on Max’s car. Overall we can see positive signs, so now we need to spend some time looking through the data and evaluating whether we will continue with it for the rest of the weekend. Performance-wise, we are reasonably happy. The tyres look like they will be quite challenging for the race, in particular the Soft tyre. However we have collected a large amount of data in the second session which will hopefully allow us to make the right strategic calls. Overall, a positive Friday and we look forward to a stronger Saturday.”

Subbed by AJN.