Good Team Effort
Despite a lack of on-track speed - the whole team functioned well in a difficult environment The Marussia Virgin Racing team competed in its second race of the 2011 season today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Before the start, everyone was looking up at the skies as the sun crept behind the clouds and grey skies were looming. The weather forecast showed that the rain was close by, threatening the possibility that the drivers might have to start the race on wet tyres.
The track stayed dry though, and at the start the temperature was running at 31 °C and the humidity level was 83%. Both Timo Glock and Jérôme D’Ambrosio got off to a good start, managing to stay out of trouble and gain positions. The weather updates were constant over the radio, some predicting rain while others indicated that showers would only pass close by. Some small drops of rain started to fall timidly on the track, but never enough to require intermediate tyres, and when that became apparent both Timo and Jérôme made their first pit-stops on the same lap. Both drivers chose to stay on option tyres for their second stints in the race.
They carried on racing at a constant pace and carefully looked after their Pirelli P-Zero tyres so that a two-stop strategy was possible. Both drivers also had excellent stops when the time came to fit prime tyres. Jérôme was running in 18th position until he hit a kerb hard, which produced a large vertical G force that toggled the power switch and turned the car off, bringing him to a halt in turn 9 with 12 laps to go. Timo had a trouble-free run to the finish and was classified in 16th position.
“I got a good start and got ahead of Trulli in the Lotus into turn one and everything was going well, but I was only able to defend the position for so long before he was able to get past. The car was working well and we were able to look after the tyres, so we were able to stick to a two-stop strategy. My engineer did a great job to get me through the traffic and it was a very straightforward race for me. Great job by the pit stop crew as a very smooth stop helped me to get back out ahead of Trulli. Apart from the steps we still need to make in performance terms, everything is working well, so we are looking forward to what our development package can bring after China in time for Europe.”
“I'm quite happy with this weekend. I won't be remembering the fact that I stopped with less than 15 laps to go but my goal was to improve on Melbourne on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was definitely much better - and the race as well. I was able to keep up a good pace, especially in the second and third stints, so I must say I'm pretty happy about that. But this is just the beginning and I have to keep on working and improving all the time. I've made a step in the right direction so that's good.”
John Booth, Team Principal
We are obviously disappointed that we weren’t able to get both cars home today
“On the face of it we are obviously disappointed that we weren’t able to get both cars home today, but generally we can be very pleased with a strong team performance in the race. Both drivers drove well and we were a little better off in terms of pace but what worked well for us is the way we have been able to manage the tyre degradation we saw earlier in the weekend and get ourselves to a position where we only needed to stop twice with each car. The pit crew had some tough challenges thrown at them today – some late calls and stops in quick succession – and they responded admirably in what are always tough climatic conditions here at Sepang. In the end Jérôme hit the kerb hard which caused the power switch to toggle off and the car stopped out on track. That aside, he should feel very happy that he is doing a great job overall in only his second race.”
Source: Marussia Virgin