The Marussia F1 Team steadily worked their way through a diverse, interesting and ultimately very productive programme in Kuala Lumpur today as the opening day of running for the 2012 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix got underway in typically hot and sticky conditions at the Sepang International Circuit.
The Friday free practice sessions for the first few races will naturally resemble a pre-season testing checklist as the team continues to understand more about its 2012 package. In FP1 this morning the focus was on aerodynamic and set-up evaluations, which saw a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in the garage – particularly for Charles – but this was all part of the programme. The team gathered a great deal of data during the session and the positive findings were put into effect for this afternoon’s FP2, when both drivers continued to make steady progress with the MR01. Reliability prevailed once again, with no issues stopping the car throughout the whole day.
Conditions were difficult for the team on such an action-packed day, as the track temperature soared to 47?C and the air temperature peaked at 31?C, but the mechanics coped admirably with the relentless set-up programme.
Timo Glock #24 “Today has been a pretty good day for us I have to say. This is one of the toughest Fridays of the season for the whole team and they did a great job. Our programme meant we had to do a lot of work on the car and the guys were constantly on the ‘go’. We still have some way to go; the car is not perfect yet by any means. We have however made a lot of progress so we need to keep this up for tomorrow. The tyres look quite difficult over a race distance, so that could be a gamble. As for the heat, my fitness work over the winter has paid off for sure. It’s been a good start and good reliability again.”
Charles Pic #25 “It has been a very interesting day for me today. We had a big programme to work through to put the car through the track testing we are catching up with right now, but the results have been very positive and I am happy with the steps we have brought to the car. It’s not easy for the team working in the heat here; it has been a long day for everybody. Now we have a lot of information to take into tomorrow and I will also have the new rear floor parts to try, so I’m looking forward to that. A very good job by everyone and my thanks to them.”
John Booth, Team Principal “We’ve had another very positive day with the MR01 and this is exactly the start we were looking for from the weekend. We’ve been able to maximise our programme, which means the engineers have plenty of positive homework to do this evening to ensure we keep moving in the right direction. We also evaluated some new rear floor parts this morning with Timo, which he carried through into the afternoon to good effect. Both drivers will now have the benefit of these parts tomorrow. It’s good to see us maintaining the reliability as we can now be confident that the basis of the car is good and turn our minds more towards developing it. It has been a very tough day for the team. The positives of completing a challenging programme with good reliability means the mechanics have been pushed to the max in very trying conditions, but as ever it’s a challenge they have coped with admirably.”