Circuit de Catalunya
It could have gone horribly wrong when a hydraulic problem hit Jerome in Qualifying. But the team responded magnificently and got him back on track.
Day two of the team's weekend in Barcelona started off with the third and last Free Practice session for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. It was another hot and sunny day, and although Jérôme and Timo were among the first out, the track was still slippery so both drivers waited in the garage for the conditions to improve. With twenty minutes of the one hour session gone, they went out on track and during the session notched up a total of 38 laps between them.
For qualifying, the track temperature had warmed nicely, climbing to 38°C but the session didn’t start as expected for Jérôme, as he experienced a hydraulic issue when he was just about to start his first timed lap. Timo though, was able to complete a trouble-free first outing and after making an improvement on his second run he was classified 20th.
With only five minutes to go before the end of Q1, Jérôme rejoined the fray and was able to set a time good enough to get him on the grid for tomorrow’s race, which he will start from 23rd on the grid.
“I think we had a good qualifying today. We had a bit of trouble with the first set of tyres as they didn’t work as they should and I was a little worried. The second lap was pretty spot on I have to say, although I made a small mistake in turn 7 as I was pushing so hard. We spent pretty much the whole of Friday not being able to concentrate on set-up and it’s been quite hard to get the old package working well again. We tried our best this morning and in the end it wasn’t too bad in qualifying. Now we have to focus on the race and just stay positive as we chip away at improving the car step by step.”
“It wasn't such a smooth day for me today. For some reason in the morning session we couldn't find the same speed that we had yesterday and then in qualifying I only really had one lap because I had a hydraulic failure during my first run. But even though it wasn't the most straightforward session, the team did a great job to fix the car and we are in the race, so let's see tomorrow.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“This morning Jérôme struggled to extract the same speed as yesterday from our race package, and his qualifying was then compromised by a hydraulic failure on his first qualifying run.
A two-car finish continues to be our goal
The team quickly located the cause, a cut O-ring, and replaced it in record time, enabling him to get out on track, even though his time was not representative of either his or the car's potential. Timo had a better session, although he had slightly less rear grip than we expected on his first run, but a tyre pressure adjustment enabled him to set a quicker lap. As for the race tomorrow, a two-car finish continues to be our goal. We are operating both cars in a specification that complies fully with the technical directive regarding engine/exhaust configurations issued to the teams last week by the FIA. We will continue to refine our recent upgrade over the forthcoming races."
Source: Marussia Virgin