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The Marussia F1 Team's Timo Glock got his home Grand Prix underway at the Hockenheimring today, but his own sunny disposition was not reflected in the weather conditions here.
The track was wet-dry as the day's running got underway during FP1 this morning. The engineering programme focused on ride set-up evaluations for Timo and some aerodynamic items for team-mate Charles Pic. The rain fell intermittently during the 90-minute session, with the section of track between the hairpin and the stadium proving the most problematic. Both drivers were at least able to utilise the Pirelli P-Zero dry development tyre early on. In the closing minutes of the session, Timo stopped with an alternator problem which cut the power just short of the team garage.
During the lunch break the heavens opened rather more and the track was fully wet for the start of FP2, when the Pirelli Cinturato Blue Full Wet tyre was deployed for an exploratory installation lap and subsequent opening runs. Towards the end of the session both drivers stepped up to the Intermediate tyre, but it was difficult to choose the best tyre for the changing conditions.
Charles Pic: "It was a good day for me in the changing conditions. What we lost in terms of planned dry weather programme, we gain in experience in the wet conditions in case the next days continue like this. This morning, on my side, we completed a few aerodynamic evaluations to progress our recent upgrade. I lost a little time early on because of a radio problem, but I was quite happy with the pace when I was able to start running. This afternoon we got to try both types of wet tyre but it was a little frustrating that the rain was so changeable because we couldn't really get down to any detailed evaluations."
Timo Glock: "Unfortunately today did not pan out in the way we had expected in respect of the weather. I thought we would have more stable conditions. In general it was difficult again in terms of it being a mixed day. In FP1 I struggled quite a bit with the car for the same reasons as the early part of the Silverstone weekend, so fighting with instability, and unfortunately at the end we had a problem which cut the morning slightly short; not enough to make a difference thankfully. FP2 was wet again and we started out on full wets. The car was still very nervous and oversteering. I think we could have been quite a bit quicker but the instability issues make it a bit difficult at the moment. We have to look into that and I hope we find the problem overnight and see what we can do to improve tomorrow."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Whilst the rain came as no surprise to us today, what was a little more frustrating was the frequency with which the conditions changed from wet to drying to wet. Having said that, conditions like this on Sunday would make for a seriously interesting and eventful race for the fans and really test race engineers up and down the pit lane. In the slightly more favourable conditions this morning we achieved quite a lot of good work, whereas this afternoon has been more about evaluating the wet tyres at this circuit. All of this is useful however because none of the teams have any experience of the Pirelli tyres - wet or dry - at this circuit. We experienced an alternator problem for Timo at the end of FP1 this morning, but this was clearly attributable to parts mileage and readily addressed to ensure he is equipped for the rest of what is an important weekend for him in front of his home crowd. A good start to the day for Charles also on the other side of the garage."
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