Not only the weather was mixed during Free Practice for the Turkish Grand Prix After a three week break, Formula One returns to the racetrack at Istanbul this weekend, and as we were bringing a substantial upgrade everyone in the team was keen to see what a difference it would make.
The full upgrade, including new exhausts and diffuser were fresh from the factory and only one set was available and this was fitted to Timo's car, although Jérôme was still set to benefit from the new front wing and brakes.
The first session of Free Practice began damp and proceeded to get wetter, so no real evaluation of the package was possible, with both Jérôme and Timo reporting that the track was slippery, and with a lot of standing water on the track, aquaplaning was a real problem. In all, they completed 26 laps between them, despite a red flag towards the end of the session.
The sun finally made an appearance after lunch and in the second session, Timo began to evaluate the upgraded MVR-02, and Jèrôme switched to the new nosecone.
Overall we need to look at the data we have gathered now to see what we can learn
“The weather has made for a difficult start to the weekend. This morning it was very tricky for everyone as there was a lot of standing water everywhere. In the second session we got a better chance to start evaluating the new package, which was really the priority for today because we knew there would be a lot of work to do. There have been some issues we have had to deal with, especially with the exhausts, and once we work through those we will be better off. Overall we need to look at the data we have gathered now to see what we can learn about the new package because, as we predicted, it’s not easy getting something so new to work straight out of the box.”
“It was a good day. This morning's session was obviously disturbed by the rain, which even if it wasn't great for this weekend's programme, l can still see it positively as it was the first time I've driven the car in the wet; so it was great for me to get an idea of how it feels in those conditions. The afternoon went pretty smoothly. We had a small issue with the power steering and we lost a bit of time and so we couldn't do everything we wanted, but in the end I think the car feels fine and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
John Booth, Team Principal
We have a lot of work to do and a lot of data to look through
“The elements of the upgrade package that we fitted to Jérôme’s car have performed well today, so we’re pleased with the progress there. Timo’s car, with the full package, was always going to be a bigger ‘ask’ because of the complexity of the car at the rear with the new blown exhaust system. It is always difficult coming straight into a race weekend with such a new and complicated package and with no testing to optimise it. As we predicted there have been a few issues to contend with, particularly with the management of the heat from the exhausts. Generally we’ve made a good start on Jérôme’s side but we have yet to realise the full performance potential of the wider package with Timo. We have a lot of work to do and a lot of data to look through to see how we can extract more from the package.”
Source: Marussia Virgin