SILVERSTONE, 4th July 2014 (F1 Plus / Graham Keilloh) - It was a mixed day for the Marussia team in Friday’s practice running for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. While Max Chilton had a fairly smooth time of it, across the garage Jules Bianchi’s day was hit by powertrain problems.
Chilton ended the day in 21st place in the second practice session while Bianchi ended up 19th.
Afterwards Chilton said that ‘We got a lot of running today, which is positive, because we lost time on the other side of the garage. There are still things we know we can improve on, so we’ll be making maximum use of the data we gathered to try to understand how we can gain more lap time.’
Bianchi by contrast was frustrated: ‘It has not been a very smooth start to our weekend for me’ he said, ‘with problems this morning and this afternoon.’
The Frenchman nevertheless remained fairly upbeat at what was achieved in among the problems: ‘Despite the issues we have experienced, and the resulting loss of track time, I am very pleased that we did end the day by making it out at the end of the FP2 session and with very little set-up work we seem to have got to a good starting place with the car.
‘There is a lot that we need to do to improve for the rest of the weekend, but we have some good data from Max’s track time. We will have a busy FP3 tomorrow to prepare for qualifying but also confirming a set-up direction. The track has been quite windy today and this has unsettled many of the cars, plus we need to understand how the tyres are working here. We will keep pushing.’
Marussia’s Team Principal John Booth also reflected the frustrations of a compromised programme today: ‘A very frustrating day in terms of quite a few niggling reliability issues, particularly with Jules’ he said.
‘However the engineers and mechanics worked calmly to maximise the amount of track time possible. Clearly we have missed quite a big part of our programme today, which was not part of the plan! Looking forward to tomorrow it seems that the weather might also hamper our programme, so the limited information we have gathered today will require much more scrutiny tonight. In the main, even with our limited running, our pace looks much where we expected but with the potential for us to gain some improvement overnight.’
Chilton was also gladdened to be performing at home in Britain: ‘It’s great to be back here in front of my home crowd, who have been incredibly supportive as usual’ he said.
‘It’s only Friday so I know the atmosphere is only going to get better over the next two days and that’s a great boost for myself and the team.’