Marussia: A tough day for the team all round

Max Chilton

Max Chilton

Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton ended the day in 20th and 21st positions respectively for the Marussia F1 Team, after the first two Free Practice sessions for Sunday’s 70 lap Hungarian Grand Prix.

It was a tough start to the day for Max, whose car suffered an oil fire at the end of the installation lap of FP1, after gearbox oil leaked onto the hot exhaust. The team worked quickly to change the gearbox and Max was able to return to the track to complete five important laps of circuit re-familiarisation and information gathering. Jules struggled with balance and instability issues.

This afternoon, in much hotter conditions, both drivers made good progress with their set-up programmes to end the day in P20 (Jules) and P21 (Max).

Jules Bianchi #17: “We’ve struggled a little with the balance of the car today, which has made it very difficult to arrive at a good set-up. This morning was very problematic but we seem to have improved a little for this afternoon, just not quite enough to be back ahead of Kobayashi. So, we will continue to push to find something more from the car [before] for Qualifying tomorrow, as we need to ensure a good position relative to the cars behind for the race.”

Max Chilton #4: “It was another difficult start to the day with the small fire that we experienced at the start of FP1. This lost me most of the session, as we had to change the gearbox, but credit to the team for achieving such a quick turnaround and enabling me to get even five laps of running as a benchmark. This was enough to tell me that this afternoon the car was very different at the beginning of FP2, maybe in part down to the temperature increase and an overall lack of grip. We’ve made some good progress but we’re not where we want to be yet, which is ahead of the Caterhams.”

John Booth, Team Principal: “A tough day for the team all round, with Max experiencing reliability issues in FP1 and the car generally not quite being on the pace we expect. Unfortunately, on the installation lap, we had a small fire at the back of Max’s car, which was traced to oil from the gearbox burning on the hot exhaust tail pipe. Whilst the actual fire damage was minimal – although the effect in the pit lane was rather dramatic – in the end it was clear that the gearbox had suffered some internal problems and had to be changed. All credit to the guys on that side of the garage for pushing to get the gearbox change done, allowing Max to get a lap at the end of the session. Max has gone reasonably well today but still he sees that further improvements can be made with his car balance, which will be the focus tonight. With Jules, he has struggled with car balance all day. The engineers and crew have made several set-up changes and the car has not really responded as we would expect. Tonight will be a long one for him and his crew, trying to improve the balance on the car. Once we have this we are sure it will result in better pace.”

(Marussia F1)