Marussia Virgin Racing concluded its final pre-season test for the 2011 season today after four positive days of running at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.
Jérôme D’Ambrosio completed his fourth consecutive day of running, ensuring he is fully conversant with the latest developments to the MVR-02 and very much ‘race prepared’ for his debut in two weeks’ time.
This morning he worked through an aerodynamic evaluation with developments for Australia and in the afternoon he was able to complete further set-up work and a tyre evaluation programme. He completed 46 laps, bringing the pre-season testing mileage tally to 4642kms, versus last year’s figure of 1985kms.
Although this test was a late addition to the pre-season calendar, replacing the planned test and race in Bahrain, the opportunity to run at this very representative and familiar circuit has provided a valuable opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming season.
“I have had an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding week here in Barcelona and I feel we are now as prepared as we can be for the season opening Grand Prix in Melbourne in two weeks’ time. Over the course of the past four tests we have achieved a great deal of mileage, learned a lot about the new car and how to get the best from the current package and how we can develop it from here through the early part of the season. Aside from some time in the simulator next week the track-oriented work is done and I will now switch focus to the mental and physical preparation for my racing debut. It has been a long time coming since I signed for the team, but to be honest I haven’t had time to worry or think about it because we have been so busy with testing. I guess now I can start to look forward to it properly. I know that taking to the track for the first time in Melbourne is going to be something really quite special. I would like to thank everyone in the team for an incredible push to get us ready for the season. Everyone has done a great job throughout testing and I really do feel very much at home with a great team of people. I hope the hard work pays off for us all in Australia.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“Today we conclude not only the Barcelona programme but our entire pre-season testing programme and what I think we take away most from this experience is just how far we’ve come in the space of 12 months. The difference between our 2010 and 2011 programmes is huge and whilst there is still some way to go in terms of performance, I think we can feel justifiably proud of how we have grown into a professional racing operation. The mileage differential in itself speaks to that fact; last year having achieved just 1985kms versus an impressive 4642kms with the 2011 package over the last four tests. With regard to today it was a little frustrating to lose valuable track time due to a faulty sensor on the engine side, which had to be changed, but we were at least able to complete an aerodynamic programme this morning which appears to be a step forward thanks to a new rear wing. This afternoon we also completed some useful set-up work, although the temperatures fluctuated quite a bit so we ended up chasing the track rather a lot. On the whole we have to feel very pleased with what we have achieved this week and we head to Australia in good spirits and eager to see where we stand with the usual barometer of outright performance that Friday Free Practice at the opening race typically provides. On a final note, congratulations to everyone in the team for a fantastic job so far this year. We look forward to continuing this trend.”