The first two Free Practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix took place today as Marussia Virgin Racing drivers Timo Glock and Jerome D'Ambrosio got to grips with the track and completed their first laps of the weekend at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
Both Timo and Jerome were out on track early this morning to complete their respective installation laps. Jerome then got straight down to his programme but unfortunately Timo was confined to the garage because of a water leak. The problem was fixed as swiftly as possible and he was able to go back out on track for the last ten minutes of the session. Jerome completed 24 laps and Timo, 13.
In the afternoon Timo was able to make up for time lost in the morning and, as with Jerome, he continued his preparation for the race ahead. With a track temperature of 37°C, Timo and Jerome went out with the Pirelli P-Zero Soft tyres on for their last two runs of the day, adding a further 30 laps each to the team's tally.
Timo Glock: "It wasn't a trouble-free first session as I had a water leak and I wasn't able to run much. This cost us a bit of time and we had to carry work over to the second session in the afternoon, so we had a very tight schedule this afternoon. I think we are heading in a reasonable direction even though we still have to improve the car. The team did a great job today and fixed the problems very quickly. Let's see how it goes tomorrow."
Jerome D'Ambrosio: "I think the first session went quite smoothly. The second session was busy and I'm not happy yet with the balance of the car, so we've got a bit of work to do on that. But definitely there is room to improve for tomorrow so we will get down to work tonight and try to get the best out of what we have. I really enjoy racing here - Suzuka is an incredible track."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Overall quite a pleasing Friday. Both cars have managed to complete their full programmes and, particularly with Timo, we have arrived at a good set-up for this track. The morning was as ever taken up with trying various aero components and we still have quite a lot of data from this work to analyse overnight. In the morning we had a small issue with a water leak on Timo's car which meant that he had to finish part of his FP1 programme in FP2. However, he worked well with his crew and engineers to recover this time - even adding extra runs to fine-tune the set-up before his qualifying simulation. Jerome has been less happy on the Medium tyre in FP2 and we will need to go back through his runs carefully tonight to try and understand the differences to Timo."
Check out our Suzuka practice gallery, here.