Indian GP Qualifying: Virgin Racing report
29 October, 2011
Oct.29 (Marussia Virgin Racing) Drivers Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Timo Glock will start tomorrow’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix from 21st and 22nd positions respectively after today’s qualifying session at the brand new Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi.
During the third and final Free Practice session the team continued to work on the set-up of the cars before the qualifying session and tomorrow’s race. With the installation lap completed both Timo and Jérôme reported over the radio that the track was dirtier than expected and that it felt different to yesterday. They continued to work with the evolving conditions, putting both the Pirelli P-Zero Hard and Soft tyres through their paces at the same time. Timo completed 23 laps and Jérôme, 19.
Timo was only able to complete one flying lap before having to head back to the garage and end his session prematurely due to a loss of fifth gear on his first run. Jérôme was able to complete 14 laps but struggled with a changing car balance all day and this allowed the HRTs to gain advantage.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
“A very disappointing qualifying for the team. We had a very good Friday yesterday, but today we have been very unlucky as fifth gear broke in qualifying and I could only do one flying lap. The first flying lap was already quite positive – the car felt okay and I didn’t have any problems. We won’t be starting where we wanted to be but I think we are quick enough to beat the HRTs and we kept a set of the Soft tyre back, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow. Obviously, it’s a real shame for me and my car crew, but that’s racing.”
Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25
“It wasn’t a great qualifying for me and it has been a difficult weekend to be honest. It feels like the car has been changing from one session to the next, which makes life pretty difficult because it’s still a new track and there is the track evolution to manage as well. It was disappointing to find ourselves in a position behind HRT and as we’ve struggled they’ve been with us all weekend. It’s a great track and I think it should produce some fantastic racing, so I hope we can improve our situation tomorrow. We saved an extra set of the Soft tyre, so that should help.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“A challenging day overall with a great deal of disappointment on Timo’s side of the garage. This morning he continued working through more set-up items, each being positive, so going into qualifying he was pretty confident of a good result. Unfortunately he was forced to return to the garage after just one flying laps and we are looking into what appears to be a fifth gear drive failure. We’ll are making a decision as to how we address this during the course of the afternoon. In an otherwise very positive year in terms of reliability, this is very frustrating way to end the day. It is also the second issue of its kind, so we have to get on top of this. Obviously we have saved even more soft tyres than we intended to with our qualifying programme and Timo will no doubt be fully focused on achieving the best result possible. Jérôme struggled a bit with a changeable car balance between sessions. We’ll work through the data with him to try to understand this.”