The Hockenheimring basked in ambient temperatures of up to 33°C today as the Marussia F1 Team got its German Grand Prix weekend underway with the opening practice sessions for Sunday's 67 lap race. The track temperature hit an incredible 58°C as Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton put their MR03 race cars through their paces on the first day of running.
Of the pair, only Max ran the car with the revised suspension configuration in last week's Silverstone Test, therefore Jules was getting his first experience of the changes, with the Hockenheim circuit characteristics throwing up some additional balance challenges. Jules and Max ended the day in 19th and 21st positions respectively.
Jules Bianchi: "It has taken a bit of work today to get the setup closer to where it needs to be. The changes we have made to the car upset the balance so we had to go back to square one a little bit. After the break I could immediately feel that the car was better and we are heading in a good direction again, but there is still quite a lot of work to do with the information we have. It has been very hot here today, which is tough for everybody but thankfully no issues with the car so far."
Max Chilton: "We have struggled with the balance slightly more here than we did at the Silverstone test and this has required us to make quite a few set-up changes. We did expect this to be the case and I think we have made a lot of progress already. I think this is going to be an interesting weekend."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We had a very full programme planned for today on the back of the recent clarification on suspension systems, which we have been able to complete. In terms of balance, this morning the car was very different to what we have been used to and was not as good as it had been in the test, when Max ran with the set-up now required. Over lunch both cars did large set-up changes and also we split the programme to allow us to explore directions on each car. By the time of the option run we had again improved the car and the balance was better for the option runs of both drivers. In the end there is still a lot of work to do as we are not where we want to be on pace, however we do now at least have a drivable platform to work from. Today has been a tough day for all the guys at the track with a lot of changes on the car and some pretty high temperatures for the drivers to deal with also. However, as ever, they have taken it in their stride and I am sure after further work tonight we can make up some of the ground we have lost."
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