Free Practice 3 & Qualifying for the Malaysia Grand Prix
Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur – Saturday 24 March 2012
The Marussia F1 Team enjoyed another positive showing at Sepang today, culminating in the qualifying session for the Malaysia Grand Prix, which underlined a clear progression since last weekend’s season-opener in Melbourne.
In this morning’s final free practice session the team put to work the findings of yesterday’s busy and diverse programme and Charles was able to commence running with the same aero developments that Timo had tested in the first two free practice sessions. He confirmed the positive gains highlighted by Timo.
While Charles made steady progress throughout the day, Timo had a more frustrating time getting his car to work on the Pirelli P-Zero Medium tyre but he pulled enough back in the final qualifying run to demonstrate more of the car’s clear potential.
Timo Glock #24
“It was quite a tough, difficult day for me today. The car was very good this morning on prime tyres and I had a good feeling for it, so I was quite confident for us on our option tyre run – the medium – in FP3 to see how much that would bring us forward. For some reason though I struggled massively with the tyre, just like yesterday, and I completely lost the balance of the car. I went slower on the Medium, compared to anyone else, so that was a bit of a shocker. I managed to do two good laps but didn’t really have the confidence with the tyre. I made two little mistakes and this cost me a tenth or two. The team has done a great job again and another weekend without any technical problems so far, so we will see for the race now.”
Charles Pic #25
“For me it was a good qualifying and another good day generally. I am a little bit closer to Timo than Australia and that is the best target I have for now. I think there is still a couple of tenths to find but overall a positive step. I think it will be a tough race tomorrow; today was just a few laps, whereas tomorrow is 56. The weather is still uncertain also, so I think it will be interesting for everyone. A good job by the team in the conditions.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“It has been another encouraging day for us as we take the positives from what we have seen so far and motivation from the signs of even better things to come. Although the placings in qualifying haven’t changed, the developments that we added to the car yesterday have meant our overall gap to the leaders and our closest competitors ahead has reduced. Touch wood, we haven’t yet experienced a single car-stopping issue and this has enabled us to crack through our programme and make the same steady progression towards the race as we did in Melbourne. Qualifying revealed a real mix bag of strategies as far as the tyres are concerned and the race is likely to throw up just as many surprises. It’s not yet clear as to the starting strategy and tonight we’ll take some time to evaluate all the options for tomorrow.”