Valencia Street Circuit
Opinion is divided about the Valencia Street Circuit - while it's not Monaco it does have the benefit of a waterside location, but detractors are not in favour of the track layout or the partially industrial backdrop. It does have a holiday feel about it though and sun aplenty, so for both FP3 and Qualifying today the air and track had been warmed nicely.
In the morning session, the cars ran like clockwork, with a busy programme to get through in the hour available. During the session, both Primes and Options were run - including a qualifying simulation along with the evaluation of various settings to determine the final qualifying and race set-up.
In qualifying, both drivers planned two runs, as the number of laps required on each set of tyres effectively rules out three runs. And as the track was still getting faster as rubber was laid, both Timo and Jérôme expected to be quicker on their second run. Both set respectable times first time out, but the expectation in the garage was higher for even better times.
Back on track, Timo suffered traffic issues and had to be patient, until he was able to get a clear lap on the third lap of his run, and so wasn't able to get the best out of his tyres. Jérôme on the other hand, was hit by a problem at the rear of the car and was forced to return to the pits, unable to set a time during the run.
“I’m very pleased with how things have gone so far this weekend and today my car crew did an amazing job, so thanks to them as everything has been very smooth.
One little mistake we made was sending me out in a bit of traffic on my second run. Petrov blocked me into turn one which put me in the way of other cars which were on a fast lap and I had to get out of the way, so I didn’t get the best chance on my second set of tyres and therefore set my best time on my third timed lap. Overall though a much better day. I was only 0.3s away from Trulli, my lap was good and hopefully we can have a good race with Lotus tomorrow.”
“A bit of a disappointing end to the day. We've had a good weekend until qualifying, when something broke at the rear of the car. But at least it’s better that it happens today rather than tomorrow so we still have the opportunity for a good race.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“As we’ve seen on a number of occasions this year, it’s a case of mixed results. Timo continued his good start to the weekend and stepped through some set-up changes in FP3 which seem to have improved the car again, so going into qualifying he was happy with the balance of the car.
As we’ve seen on a number of occasions this year, it’s a case of mixed results
Unfortunately we made a little mistake with the timing of his second run which undoubtedly lost him some time as he was unable to set his time on the optimum lap for the tyres. With this in mind we are looking forward to the race tomorrow where I’m sure further improvements will be seen. Jérôme was also running well and again experimenting with set-up in P3, although we chose to make a reasonably big change on his car going into qualifying, as it had shown good results on Timo’s car. This is always a risk with the driver not having used the set-up before, however Jérôme was initially running quite well. Unfortunately on his second run, whilst braking for turn 17, he felt a problem with the car. From the data and an initial inspection of the car, this was found to be a problem with the rear spring. We will inspect under Parc Ferme and rectify the issue for tomorrow, after which I’m sure Jérôme can look forward to an equally good race.”
By: Marussia Virging