A successful testing debut with the MR03 continued today as the Marussia F1 Team’s Jules Bianchi got his first experience of the new car at the Circuit de la Frontera, at Jerez in Spain.
The day got off to a cold and wet start but the conditions did not hamper the team’s early programme, which was to painstakingly explore some of the car’s systems, particularly the interface between the brake-by-wire and the powertrain. That complete, the focus then shifted towards putting laps together and achieving further crucial mileage to begin the process of reliability testing.
The day was brought to an early conclusion by a red flag for another team, which prevented Jules from consolidating the good work from the day. Nevertheless, the team was pleased to complete 25 laps today, bringing the total number of laps over the past two days to 30, and with no car-stopping issues on the track.
Jules Bianchi: “I was really excited to get my first taste of the new MR03 and I like it a lot! The car feels great to drive and I’m pleased that I was able to achieve some good mileage. You always want more, of course, but there is a lot to work through and understand, so we have to be patient and go through the programme in the right way, especially as we have had damp conditions to contend with also. At the end, once we were happy with the systems work, it was nice to put the Slicks on and start putting some laps together. It is early days but we were quite happy with the pace in the conditions and for our programme. Not a bad start.”
Dave Greenwood, Chief Engineer: “It has been a very busy 48 hours for our team since the MR03 arrived in Jerez. We have had to squeeze rather a lot into that space of time in order to achieve our objectives for its debut test and to ensure we gathered plenty of information to work with. All in all, given the challenges we have faced, I think we have to be pretty pleased with the early signs from the new package and the positive response from our drivers. We have spent a lot of time understanding our systems, so it has taken a little while to build up a head of steam, but by the end of today we were starting to make some good progress. We now head back to the factory where we will spend a lot of time poring over the data we have collected in order to ensure we are well prepared for the next two tests in Bahrain.” (Marussia)
Subbed by AJN.