The Marussia F1 Team experienced a frustrating start to its Canadian Grand Prix weekend today as Monaco points-scorer Jules Bianchi missed over half of the day’s running, leaving Max Chilton to conduct the majority of the evaluation and set-up programme.
In FP1 this morning, Jules had a brush with the infamous wall on the outside of Turn 4, which was severe enough to break his right rear track rod, necessitating a gearbox change to expedite his return to the track in time for FP2. In the afternoon he had completed just three laps before a problem arose with the powertrain, the diagnosis of which meant that he was confined to the garage for the balance of the session.
Max had a more straightforward time on track, although this too was frustrated by a few small niggles interrupting his progress. Nonetheless, he went on to end the day in 18th position, ahead of Kyvat, Kobayashi and Ericsson.
Max Chilton #4: “I’m pleased with where I’ve ended the day on the timesheet. I think we got quite a lot of the car today and in particular I had a very positive FP2. We got a good long run with the car in which we seemed to be quite competitive, so hopefully we can maintain this progress into tomorrow.”
Jules Bianchi #17: “It has been a tough day today, which is a difficult start off the back of our last weekend’s performance. At least we have some data to work with to try to prepare for tomorrow but FP3 will be a little bit like heading into the dark. Still, we have turned things around before and I am confident that we can still have a good weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “A frustrating day, particularly on Jules’ side of the garage. The lost track time in FP1 was as a result of Jules pushing the car hard and for this every once in a while you do get caught out. Into FP2, the issue we have had with the powertrain is not driver related and so it’s been tough for him to miss out on valuable running at this tricky circuit. On the flip side, with Max everything has pretty much run to programme and he is quite happy with the balance of the car. He did his option run very early in the session as we decided to concentrate more on long runs with the tyres. This will be reflected in the ultimate pace, but he still looks relatively competitive. The long run enabled us to get valuable tyre data and initially things don’t seem quite so straightforward in terms of the way the prime and option tyres are working, but this information won’t be needed until Sunday. For now we are concentrating on ensuring both cars are up to full reliability for the morning. For Jules we will revise the programme slightly to give him more long run focus and take the session from there.”