Hot and cold
Qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix didn't pan out as we'd hoped, but there are still positives to take away Contrary to earlier forecasts, the sun was shining brightly this morning, and although the air was still chilly, the track was at least dry.
As a result of problems managing the heat from the newly-routed exhausts, Timo's car had been reconfigured overnight, and was running in the same specification as Jérôme's, using the Shanghai specification, updated with a new front nosecone and wing, mirrors and brakes.
Jérôme was the first driver to complete a timed lap in Free Practice 3 and went on to complete a total of 25 laps - more than any other driver. Timo also managed to put some good mileage on his car, managing 19 laps as he got to grips with the new configuration of his car.
By the start of Qualifying, temperatures were much warmer and the track temperature had reached 37 degrees. Both drivers completed two runs of four laps on the Pirelli option tyre, with Jérome and Timo being classified 20th and 22nd respectively.
Unfortunately Jérôme has received a five-place grid penalty for an infringement of the yellow flag rules in yesterday's afternoon session, so he will be starting the race from 24th on the grid.
I will continue to keep working hard and keep a cool head
“Another good day for me although we had hoped for something a bit better in terms of performance. But that's where we are at present with the new package. We need to keep our heads down and keep pushing forward, keep improving and fine-tuning it to the track. In terms of my own performance I'm happy because I maintained the level I was at in Shanghai, which shows I have learned a lot and also applied what I've learned. But it's a long road for me, I still need to understand why sometimes things go well and sometimes they don't, so I will continue to keep working hard and keep a cool head.”
“Not a perfect qualifying for me for sure. I suffered some engine hesitations in turns 12-14, which we will address for tomorrow, but otherwise from my side it was okay. For some reason though, I wasn’t able to get the same from the car as Jérôme today, so we’ll have to look at the data and see if there is something we did wrong, maybe between Free Practice 3 and Qualifying, but there wasn’t so much to change so right now I can’t say. I have to focus on tomorrow now when we hope for better things and to bring both cars to the finish.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“Jérôme continues to impress with his rapid development and again achieved two clean Qualifying laps, finding time on his second lap in run one and again in his second run. Overall a ‘grade A’ performance with no faults. We are however disappointed that he will have to start the race from the back of the grid as a result of a yellow flag infringement yesterday, for which we the team must also take some responsibility. Having said that he faces a real ‘racer’s race’ tomorrow to recover and based on what we have seen so far I have no doubt that he will be exciting to watch.
We experienced a number of teething problems, especially with heat management
“Overnight we made a big change to Timo’s car to remove the exhaust and floor elements of the new upgrade. Although there were clear signs that the downforce levels at the rear of the car had improved with it, yesterday we experienced a number of teething problems, especially with heat management, and it was clear that continuing to run it wouldn’t be an option for Qualifying and the race. Unfortunately this is just a natural consequence of not being able to test developments prior to bring to bringing them into the field.
It is also clear that there is a big difference between the way the car is balanced for the old package versus the new upgrades and I think this goes some way towards explaining why Timo struggled a little in Qualifying. FP3 is always a tough session to get the car balanced before Qualifying. Timo’s car is also using the tyres slightly more aggressively than Jérôme and his second laps didn’t yield an improvement when it looked like this lap had the best potential. He faces a tough race tomorrow as well but we have shown ourselves to be stronger in the race and I’m hopeful that we can use a better race pace and the kind of drive he demonstrated towards the end of the last race in particular to turn things to our advantage.”
Source: Marussia Virgin