Two Cars Home
Both cars took the chequered flag in Melbourne today, which was our objective for the first race of the season.
The sun shone at last over Albert Park, with the track temperature registering 17°C for the start of the race and peaking at 23°C. As the action got underway, Timo recovered well after running wide to get a good opening stint under his belt, avoiding incident and preserving his Pirelli P-Zero tyres until he pitted for the first time on lap 18.
Shortly after rejoining the track he radioed in to report a loose front left wheel and was forced to make his way slowly back to the pits. Refitting the wheel proved problematic and Timo was confined to the garage for five laps while the team repaired damage sustained to the drive pegs. He rejoined the race in 18th position and as a consequence of losing so much track time he fell further back. From there he could do no more than concentrate on finishing the race and eventually brought his car home but in an unclassified position.
Competing in his debut Grand Prix, Jérôme got a good, clean start and concentrated on ensuring his MVR-02 reached the chequered flag. He was able to demonstrate consistent pace, even in the face of the omnipresent blue flags. He acquitted himself well in his first outing for the team, crossing the line in 16th position and gaining valuable experience along the way.
“I think we had quite a good speed in the race. I was behind Jarno Trulli, then caught him and got past him in the pitstop. Unfortunately at the pitstop the front left wheel was loose and I had to drive round for one lap very slowly then come into the pits. Unfortunately the drive pegs were damaged but we repaired it, and I at least was able to rejoin the race. For the first couple of laps it was okay but then the car had quite a lot of vibration, so I just tried to focus on finishing the race. In the end it was a little disappointing but at least we demonstrated good reliability and brought both cars to the finish.”
“I’m really happy to have finished my first Formula One Grand Prix. I started really well and I felt comfortable in the car, even though I think that I could have gone a bit faster at the end of the race. But the most important thing is that we completed the race and this will give me plenty of experience which will be useful for the next races. I would like to thank the team for a great job all weekend. We had a very productive time and we will carry the lessons through to the next race in Malaysia and hopefully start moving forward from there.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“First and foremost we have to be happy that we achieved our objective of a two-car finish. To move forward we have to maximise our track time and gather as much data as possible to feed back into the development programme and I am comfortable that we have been able to demonstrate such promising reliability. The problem with Timo’s wheel is disappointing and even when he was back out on track his progress was hampered as a consequence of the damage sustained. Jérôme delivered a good debut race performance so he can feel very proud of what he has achieved this weekend. Finally, congratulations to the team for a big push for the start of the season.”
Nikolay Fomenko, Engineering Director
“I would like to congratulate Vitaly Petrov for a great drive today which saw him become the first Russian driver to stand on the Formula One podium. It’s a great day for Russia, Formula One fans and a good step on the road to the new Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014.”
Source: Marussia Virgin