Marussia Virgin Racing were back on track in Abu Dhabi Wednesday for the Young Driver Test at Yas Marina Circuit. After getting his debut run in a Formula One car yesterday afternoon with the team, rookie driver Charles Pic was at the wheel again for day two.
The team combined its continued appraisal of the 21 year old Frenchman’s potential with an evaluation programme of 2012 components, as well as introducing Pirelli P-Zero development work into the mix this afternoon.
The team worked through a list of brake cooling and 2012 tyre options, as well as performing evaluations of the existing aero options available to the team for Brazil. The team did not make as much progress as planned due to a number of issues which confined the car to the garage for long periods this morning and at the start of the afternoon session.
As a consequence, the team have decided to put Charles back in the car for a further half day tomorrow morning. Robert Wickens, who had the benefit of his debut FP1 outing in last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will take over the reins in the afternoon.
“This morning I was still getting used to the car and working to optimise my driving. We made two longer brake evaluation runs and this afternoon we did a test of new Pirelli tyres, but this time only for a few laps. We used four different specifications of tyre and it was very interesting to see the difference and get this information. By this afternoon I was happy with the car and all the new things like using DRS through the lap I just kept getting better and better at. I am very happy with my second day in the car and once again I have learned a lot. Thanks to the team again for making everything comfortable for me.”
John Booth, Team Principal of Marussia Virgin Racing
“We were slightly delayed leaving the garage this morning, having waited for new front suspension and brake components to arrive overnight from the factory. All in all, the team did a good job to minimise the amount of time Charles lost on the track this morning as a result. The morning progressed reasonably well, with Charles working through 2012 brake cooling options, but just before lunchtime we found an issue with the engine which had to be changed for this afternoon’s running. Later on we worked through the first part of the 2012 Pirelli tyre programme and due to the fact that we were unable to complete this, we will continue the long run work in the morning with Charles before giving the afternoon to Robert. Unlike those around us we elected to only run the Soft tyre compound today, so we will get our chance with the Supersoft tomorrow. With the work that Charles was able to complete, he has done a good job and worked well with the team.”