Marussia: We are pleased with the data that we collected

Rodolfo Gonzalez

Rodolfo Gonzalez

The Marussia F1 Team ended the opening day of Free Practice for the 2013 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton in 20th and 22nd positions respectively.

This morning, at the Yas Marina Circuit, Reserve Driver Rodolfo Gonzalez took part in one of his planned FP1 sessions, taking over the MR02-03 chassis of Max Chilton.

Jules Bianchi #22:

“I’m quite pleased with how today has gone for me. We seemed strong from the start with the new aero development we had this morning and we have done some more good work with the new suspension components. This afternoon the conditions were pretty much as we expect them to be for quali and the race – the same light and temperatures – so it is quite good to find ourselves where we are in terms of the competition. I think it will be very close so we are taking nothing for granted, just pushing all the way for the best result on Sunday.”

Max Chilton #23:

“A shorter day for me having made way for Rodolfo’s planned Free Practice session this morning. I’ve driven here before so I am pretty familiar with the track and the acclimatisation was short. Just as I was getting into my run I felt something wrong with my car. It seems that I had a damaged brake duct, but we’re not quite sure how it happened. The guys worked well to replace the duct and turn the car around and I was pleased to get quite a few laps in after that. We are finding our way with the car balance a little but now is a good time to do that as these are the conditions we expect in qualifying and the race. Not a bad start but quite a lot of thinking to do in preparation for FP3.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez, Reserve Driver:

“It has been good to be back in the car again and to be running at such an awesome circuit. Over 22 laps we achieved a lot of data for the team which will be quite important in determining how we progress from here over the rest of the weekend. As always it’s good to be conducting work that is so helpful to the team and I look forward to seeing how it works out over the next couple of days.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“With the track and air temperatures in FP1 being unrepresentative [of] the conditions we will experience in the race, we opted to do a significant number of aero data collection runs with Rodolfo and Jules to evaluate a small aerodynamic upgrade we have put on the car this weekend. Rodolfo continued his running in what were quite challenging conditions, which he coped with well. Jules was immediately happy with the car balance, which was pleasing, and he demonstrated that the developments have worked as expected. Into FP2, with lower track temperatures, both race drivers continued to work on optimising the car balance with the suspension development we first tried in India. Overall we are pleased with the data we have collected and happy that the aero upgrade Jules ran is performing as expected, therefore we will apply this development to both cars this evening. ”

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