Marussia: Confident that we have conducted some good preparation for rain

A big weekend for the Marussia F1 Team got underway in damp conditions today at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo. With a changeable forecast for the weekend ahead, the two Free Practice sessions served as useful preparation for a potentially wet race and acclimatisation for Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, neither of whom have raced at the circuit previously.

This morning, Reserve Driver Rodolfo Gonzalez completed his ninth and final Free Practice 1 session of the season, substituting for Max. Coupled with the three sessions completed at the Young Driver Test, Rodolfo has now amassed 267 laps and a total of 1450.90 km.

This afternoon, Jules and Max ended the day in 18th and 21st places respectively, with Jules ahead of the team’s nearest competitors.

Jules Bianchi: “The weather has defined our sessions today but we have made some good progress for the different situations we may face during the rest of the weekend. Once the racing line started to dry a little we could have more confidence to push, but on my quick lap on the Intermediate tyre I made a few mistakes, so there was definitely more to come. There is still quite a lot to focus on in terms of the balance so another long night of work to do with the engineers.”

Max Chilton: “It is an important weekend for us so with Rodolfo having taken over my car this morning, I spent that session focusing on the feedback being given to the engineers by him and Jules in light of the track conditions. This afternoon I was finally able to sample the track for the first time and it’s a great circuit but pretty challenging in the wet. We’ve made good progress in tricky conditions and worked through a few scenarios for what could be changeable weather over the next couple of days, although we are hoping we have seen the worst of the rain. Generally I’m really happy with the pace.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez: “Today was my ninth Free Practice 1 session at what is the closest event to my home race, so it was nice to have a clean session, although it was hampered by the rain. We did achieve 19 laps though, and a lot of our planned wet weather scenario programme, so the information will be useful for the rest of the weekend. I wish the team all the best of luck now for the right outcome on Sunday.”

John Booth: “We came to this event with no significant developments for Friday, however we were geared up to do a comprehensive assessment of the 2014 tyres. Unfortunately this program had to be put to one side due to the weather but that said, we have still done some good testing today. The wet conditions have been an area where we have never been 100% happy with car balance and performance and it was good today to spend significant time working on this. It appears we have made some progress in the afternoon session and it was good to also get both drivers to feel the cross over from the Extreme tyre, which will be good experience if it is wet for qualifying or the race – or both! It looks like the weather is still unpredictable for the next two days, however we can be confident that we have conducted some good preparation for that situation and we hope to get some dry running in FP3 to see how the car behaves more generally at this circuit.”

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