Circuit de Catalunya
It's go in Sunny Spain
It was a beautiful day at the Circuit de Catalunya today, for Free Practice for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. It's less than a week since we ran our first ever straight-line aero test at the Idiada Proving Ground but we were still glad to be back out on track today at the Circuit de Catalunya.
As a result of the aero test, some modifications had been made to the floor and exhaust package that we'd introduced in Turkey. These were made to cure the heat-management issues experienced in Istanbul.
In order to maximise the data gained today, we opted to run Timo’s car with the new package, and use the previous floor and exhaust design on Jérôme's.
It was warm and sunny in the morning, but in the afternoon it was beautiful, with the tarmac temperature reaching 45 degrees.
Both cars ran faultlessly throughout, and here's what Jérôme, Timo and John had to say:
“I personally had a good day; it was really about analysing different compounds, especially with the new hard tyre that we’ve been given here. I did some long runs at the end on them, and I think that was quite useful. I think it’s very important that we all sit down together now, and really see what’s happening on Timo’s car with the new package. That’s really the next step for us, we need to combine my work with Timo’s and see what we can come up with for tomorrow.”
“At the moment we are focusing on getting to grips with the new exhaust, so we can’t do much in terms of setup or balance work. Today has mainly been about gathering data. It’s not easy but I think we made some progress and we are starting to understand the philosophy of it. Now we have a lot of work to do overnight before we decide whether to keep the system on the car for tomorrow and the race.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“As a result of our recent straight-line test, we decided to run a split programme whereby Timo would run with the new aero package and work on engine mappings and diffuser setup with Jérôme focusing solely on tyres due to the new Hard compound we have here in Spain. It looks to have less degradation than the previous version although initial lap times with it aren’t as good.
The new package certainly has a lot of potential
That should again provide for an interesting race with a variety of strategy options. Overnight, we’ll be looking at the data and comparing the two exhaust and diffuser packages, as well as making a careful check of the components. We’ll then decide which specification to put on the car. The new package certainly has a lot of potential; it’s a great pity that Timo was hampered by so much traffic when he was running the Option tyre and was unable to show its true potential.”
Source: Marussia Virgin