Marussia were delighted with the sunny conditions for Friday practice today in Monza which allowed them to complete a day of comprehensive set-up and tyre evalutions.
The team come into this weekend concerned that the long, fast straights of Monza do not favour their KERS-less MR01, but finished the day pleased about the progress they had made.
“First of all it’s good to have stable weather conditions in Monza because this track is quite unique and we needed to do a lot of preparation work,” said Timo Glock, who finished the day 21st on the timesheets. “We got through the programme quite well and evaluated the aero level of our rear wing options for here.
“We did a lot of back to back work with our Canada specification and our latest components seem the clear way to go, which again proves out our development direction.
“Overall the car felt okay and no problems with the long runs so far; the times were quite consistent. I’m happy with FP1 and FP2. A bit of fine-tuning perhaps but, in general, a good start and we will see what we can do from here now.”
Team-mate Charles Pic finished the day 22nd, and seemed just as happy with how the day had gone as Glock.
“A very busy day for us today, perhaps even more so than usual as we had to follow a very comprehensive programme across the two cars to arrive at a good way to proceed from here,” said the Frenchman. “We tried lots of different things this morning so that in the break we could analyse the information and decide on a direction.
“This track is not easy to set the car up for and it involves a few compromises, but I think we have worked well to establish a good starting point. There is still more work to be done based on what we have learned here this afternoon and some things we can do to continue to improve the car.”
Marussia technical director John Booth explained the problems facing the team today, and how conditions were so much better than they were in Belgium last week.
“A very different Friday to the last one, as the weather has remained consistently hot and sunny and we have forged our way through quite a comprehensive programme designed to give us as many answers as possible to the numerous set-up questions posed by this track,” said Booth.
“It’s a little bit of a conundrum for us, bearing in mind that we have struggled in low downforce trim before. Nonetheless, we are pleased with the start we have made and cautiously optimistic that we have ended Friday here in a more favourable position than we perhaps envisaged. That is down to the steps we have taken to try to overcome our low downforce woes since Montreal and also the very calm and disciplined approach of our engineers and their drivers. Fingers crossed we can continue this positive start.”