Opening free practice for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was tricky business for Marussia after a glorious start in FP1 gave way to a series of showers during the afternoon.
In ambient temperatures of 27˚C and with the track peaking at a sizzling 39˚C, Timo Glock and Charles Pic worked through a varied programme. Glock has swapped chassis for this weekend to eradicate the balance issue he experienced in Germany. While he focused more on achieving a good baseline set-up for his car, Pic helped the
team to evaluate a new front wing modification and new front suspension components. Those developments would then be carried over to Glock's car in the break, once the baseline work was completed. The morning went well and the full programme was completed on both sides of the garage.
This afternoon the opening laps were dry and Glock was running well, whilst Pic perhaps felt that some changes made to the car after FP1 were not proving beneficial. For this reason the team focused on improving his set-up and remained on the prime tyre. Light rain had been forecast but the ensuing shower was heavier than most in the pit lane had envisaged and it arrived ahead of the team’s planned soft tyre run with both cars. The drivers made the best of the tricky conditions to evaluate the intermediate wet tyre, given the varying forecasts for the remainder of the weekend.
“The first practice was quite okay. With all the changes made since Hockenheim, my car seems more ‘back to normal’, I would say. There’s still some work to do on the set-up and to make the car a little quicker, but I was quite happy at the end of the morning. On the cautious side we will take a good look at the data and make sure it is as positive as it felt so far. Then the weather hit and it was very difficult out on track on the intermediate. The consistency of the wet patches was quite varied; it was very strange. Some corners were impossible to drive and I almost lost my car at the same point as Michael (Schumacher), but luckily I caught it. Now, we’ll have a good look at everything and see what we can come back with for tomorrow.”
“We made a good start to the weekend in FP1 and I was quite happy with the car. It felt well-balanced quite quickly. In the break we made some changes that we thought may help to improve it further, but on the opening run this afternoon I felt this was not a good direction. It took some time to change things back, by which time we had lost the window for a run on the Soft tyre because the weather turned against us. The rain was heavier than predicted and so it also did not dry as quickly as we had hoped. I did a run with the intermediate tyre to prepare for similar conditions through the weekend."
John Booth, Team Principal
“I think the whole pit lane was surprised by the intensity of the rain we experienced this afternoon, relative to the forecast of a much lighter shower. As such, it had a bigger impact on the course of the FP2 session and we were unable to continue what was a very positive start to the day this morning. Charles was looking strong, finishing the FP1 session between the two Caterhams. We were also pleased to hear more positive feedback from Timo in light of his recent balance woes. So we went into the afternoon feeling optimistic, but the weather rather dominated and left us with a race against time and track condition but we were unable to achieve our Soft tyre run at the end of the session. We are therefore out of kilter with the cars around us on the timesheet. We’ll come back at things afresh tomorrow and hope to pick up where we left off this morning in terms of the promise indicated for the rest of the weekend.”