Timo Glock and Jerome D'Ambrosio got Marussia Virgin Racing's race weekend underway today in the first two Free Practice sessions for the Korean Grand Prix.
It started raining in the early hours of the morning and the track was declared wet at the beginning of the first Free Practice session of the day. The rain remained constant and both Timo and Jerome were confined to the garage after going out for an installation lap. It wasn't until the final 20 minutes when Jerome went out for a first and only run, completing 7 laps. Timo followed him out three minutes later and completed 4 laps.
The weather conditions improved for the second Free Practice session of the day, but the track was still damp, with some standing water remaining. Both Timo and Jerome were out early and on the Pirelli P-Zero Intermediate tyres as the team had to make up for lost time. A drier line was forming around some sectors of the circuit, with the track getting quicker, allowing Timo and Jerome to make the most out of the session and complete 25 and 26 laps respectively.
Timo Glock: "It's been a difficult first day in Korea today with the wet conditions because I think that tomorrow, and on Sunday, it will be dry. We will have to do a bit of catching up tomorrow, but today was okay even though we had a bit of a problem on the front left suspension where we had to change some parts and it cost us a bit of time. The wet conditions also make it more of a challenging track but the day went well and it was good to be able to evaluate some developments for 2012. Tomorrow we have to concentrate on qualifying and our race preparation."
Jerome D'Ambrosio: "Today our programme was disturbed by the rain so it hasn't been the easiest of starts to a race weekend. It's a shame that it rained for so long really, but at least we were able to understand the behaviour of the Extreme Wet and Intermediate tyres here. We are not totally happy with the car balance yet, so we will have to work on this tonight in order to try and improve it for tomorrow."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We had some quite changeable weather forecasts coming into this event and an ambitious Friday programme planned, looking at items for 2012 as well as trying some different set-up approaches. However, as we left the circuit last night and saw the latest weather updates, we realised that today might be a bit challenging in terms of completing this programme. That said, we've had a reasonably productive day and Timo has still worked on a different set-up direction albeit in the wet. We will have to wait until FP3 in order to compare it to our normal dry set-up to see how we will continue through the weekend. With Jerome there is still a better balance to find, but some pre-planned overnight changes will help to fix these issues, I'm sure. Although we're pretty confident that the rest of the weekend will be dry, there is a chance of some rain tomorrow afternoon and at least today has prepared us for that."
Check out our Korea Friday gallery, here.