The Marussia F1 Team’s Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton ended the opening day of Free Practice in Monaco in 18th and 19th positions on the timesheet;
While the morning session was dry, the rain moved in during the lunch break, even bringing with it some hail, which was most unexpected. Consequently, at the start of the FP2 session, the Intermediate tyre was required to navigate the still damp and tricky conditions, but the track improved for the final 30 minutes of the afternoon, in which Jules and Max were able to test the Soft and Super-soft tyres.
Jules Bianchi: “It was very pleasing to find the car performing well here after a good test in Barcelona last week. We do not have all the data we were hoping for at this stage of the weekend, but I think the baseline is strong. Clearly the weather has been a factor for everyone today but there is still room for improvement for us and I am confident that we can make some more progress on Saturday.”
Max Chilton: “It’s been a tough start to my Monaco weekend, particularly the loss of track time in FP1 this morning. We were hoping to make up for lost time this afternoon, but the weather intervened and when we were able to get into the dry programme, of course everyone was taking advantage of the same improving conditions, so traffic was a factor. On a positive note, we seem to have carried through the good work from the test in Barcelona and the car seems to be performing well, so in many ways my weekend will start in FP3 on Saturday morning.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Overall, a rather frustrating day. The morning started well for Jules, with the car behaving as it had been at the Barcelona Test. This represented a positive translation of our set-up development work to suit the specific nature of the Monaco circuit. Max got caught out early on in the session and unfortunately at this track this means you end up losing the whole session. We were also running some upgraded parts on Max’s car and therefore the combination of the lost track time this morning and the wet conditions in FP2, with only a very short period on the Super-soft at the end of the afternoon, has left us a little short on data. When we were able to push on the drying track at the end of FP2, both drivers experienced traffic. The ‘day off’ here on Friday usually allows for extra time to examine all the data we collect on a Thursday so, all in all, it’s fair to say we are not quite where we want to be. Having said that, things can turn around dramatically at this track, so we will do everything possible to make up for lost time in FP3 on Saturday.”
Subbed by AJN.