Marussia Virgin Japanese GP - Suzuka race report

Marussia Virgin press release

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Today in Japan Timo and Jérôme finished in 20th and 21st positions respectively.

It was a clean start to the race and we got away from the line well. Timo was first into the pits on lap 13, putting another set of Soft tyres on his MVR-02. Jérôme came in a lap later, and in an action-packed day for the pit crew, it was only seven laps later when Timo completed his second pit-stop, with the team again fitting the Soft tyre.

Timo and Jérôme were running in 22nd and 20th positions respectively and just after Jérôme pitted for another set of Soft tyres, the Safety Car was deployed due to debris on track at Turn 7 and near the final chicane.

Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Virgin Racing
Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Virgin Racing

Photo by: xpb.cc

On lap 28 the race restarted. Timo and Jérôme pitted for a third and final time for Medium tyres on laps 36 and 37. Jérôme joined the track behind Timo in 22nd position and that was the order until the end of the race.

Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25


“I think it was a good race. I had a good start and first part of the race. I’m not sure if we went for the best option regarding the strategy, as I lost my position to Timo in the pits, which is a shame. But I came back on him in the end and we had a great fight but he was able to end the race ahead. It was a positive weekend for me and I’m happy with this.”

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24


“I had a good start, got on the outside and managed to get Jérôme in the first part of the first two corners. I nearly hit Trulli; he pushed me out and I went out on to the grass and unfortunately couldn’t stay on track, so I lost position again and was behind Jérôme.

Timo Glock, Virgin Racing
Timo Glock, Virgin Racing

Photo by: xpb.cc

I was stuck behind him for the first stint, which destroyed my tyres in the first five or six laps because I was a bit quicker than him and then he started to pull away. We went for an early pitstop but the right rear tyre didn’t go on well and I lost 4-5 seconds, the position against Ricciardo and then Jérôme was able to pull quite far away.

Then the safety car came out and we switched to a three-stop and the hard tyre. I was able to get in front of Jérôme but at the end it was quite difficult against all the blue flags and I had a few tough moments. Anyway, we got both cars home no problem and we got the best out of the cars. I’m looking forward to Korea but we have to look at the car set-up again as it was okay, but not magic.”

John Booth, Team Principal


“This hasn’t been the most straightforward of weekends for us and today’s race continued in much the same vein. Our strategy didn’t play out in the way that we had hoped and we lost some time with our pitstops as well. Early in the race we suffered a problem with our timing information on the pitwall and unfortunately this was at a critical time in the tyre lifecycle, so we really had to think on our feet.

Our strategy didn’t play out in the way that we had hoped

John Booth

Despite all of these problems, we were still able to finish ahead of our nearest competitor and with both cars, which are positives to take away from the race. We’ll be back on track in Korea in just a few days’ time so we will regroup quickly and implement the necessary improvements.

“It has been extremely heart-warming to return to Japan and receive such a typically warm reception from the fans here. They deserved a great race and they got one - the Championship decider to boot. Congratulations to Sebastian on his second world title. For us, we now head to Yeongam with quite a tough turnaround ahead but hopefully a positive weekend.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Timo Glock , Jérôme d'Ambrosio , John Booth
Teams Virgin Racing
Tags booth, d'ambrisio, glock, japanese gp, marussia virgin, suzuka