Jerome D’Ambrosio was limited to just 64 laps today when an electrical problem stopped his MVR-02 out on track this morning, damaging his gearbox.
Virgin Racing did manage to get the Belgian driver back out on track for more laps around mid-afternoon, but the team are hoping for a better reliability tomorrow.
“Today has been a little frustrating as we lost valuable track time,” said D’Ambrosio, who at least has the luxury of four days in the car whilst team-mate Timo Glock recovers from appendicitis.
“The mechanics worked very hard to get me back out on track as quickly as possible, so with the laps that we did complete we have at least been able to gather some useful information. We still have a lot of work to do so we look forward to a trouble-free day tomorrow so we can start to move things on a little with our tyre evaluation programme.”
Team principal John Booth shared his driver’s frustration, and can take some comfort from the fact that the new car is much more reliable than last years’ effort at this stage of the pre-season:
“It was disappointing to lose track time on a day when we really wanted to start getting stuck into our race preparation work, but on the positive side we did well to recover and again demonstrated our ability to turn the car around quickly when faced with an issue.
“Touch wood, our reliability has been relatively good so far, so it's quite pleasing that we got to the bottom of the problem so quickly and applied a good solution. We also worked through some suspension geometry changes in order to try to optimise the performance of the tyres with race stints in mind.
“We hope to have a clear run at the programme tomorrow in order to continue the good work we have started.”