The opening sessions of the Japanese Grand Prix got underway at Suzuka in bright and sunny conditions, perfect for Marussia to evaluate some important aerodynamic developments to the MR01. Timo Glock got this programme underway in FP1, being an old hand at this circuit, running exclusively with the new floor for Friday only. Charles Pic, meanwhile, spent the session focusing on familiarisation at a track he has never raced at previously. The drivers completed their assigned programmes, but it wasn’t an entirely straightforward day. Nonetheless, plenty of data was gathered which will enable the team to pool findings across both sides of the garage and make further progress on Saturday.
“It has not been any easy session for us. FP1 and FP2 were not straightforward because the car felt a bit difficult on the hard tyre. The balance wasn’t good at all in FP1, but we have found a better solution in FP2. But still, all is not quite as good as it could be and we need to work a bit on our car set-up. We are a little further behind our competitors because of the KERS effect. I had the chance to follow some cars but when they deploy the KERS it has such a big effect here in Japan. We need to see what we can do tomorrow and try to close the gap to them by finding a way to improve the car for both long runs and qualifying. Let’s see what we can do overnight.”
“Today was my first taste of the Suzuka Circuit and I enjoyed the experience very much. We achieved the full programme, but we are not where we would like to be yet and we were a few tenths missing today. Having said that, it is positive that the new floor Timo ran with seems to be working well, and I will get to feel the benefit of that tomorrow. I am looking forward to pushing the car forward and a stronger rest of the weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“Overall, we’ve achieved our programme objectives for the day and it’s good to see that the new floor fitted to Timo’s car for today appears to be performing as expected. FP1 was taken up mainly with aero evaluation work centred around the new floor. Although the results of these tests were not 100 percent clear this morning, extra data gathered in FP2 has given us some more conclusive findings. We are in reasonable shape at this early stage of the weekend and have completed good low and high fuel runs. The tyre degradation is a little higher than first thought, which should make for another action-packed race.”