Marussia Virgin Racing's Timo Glock enjoyed a positive opening day of practice at the Buddh International Circuit in preparation for Sunday's inaugural Indian Grand Prix in Delhi. He was able to complete his full programme of tyre and aero evaluation at a circuit which, coming into the weekend, was an unknown quantity for all of the teams and drivers. It was a more frustrating day on the other side of the garage however, as the positive start Jerome D'Ambrosio had made came to an abrupt end following a crash midway through FP2.
After many weeks of virtual preparation for this new Grand Prix, the team set out to gather as much hard data as possible to help them establish the optimum set-up for the weekend ahead.
Both Timo and Jerome were out on track early this morning and were able to complete their installation laps just before the session was red-flagged due to a stray dog making its way onto the track. The session was restarted at 10:10h (local) and Timo and Jerome completed a total of 24 and 19 laps respectively.
The team continued preparing for the race in the afternoon session, benefitting from improved grip from the track. Jerome broke the silence and was the first out of the pits. Timo joined him shortly after and they continued to fine-tune their set-ups. Unfortunately, Jerome ran wide on the kerb at Turn 11 and hit the wall, ending his session prematurely. He had completed 12 laps. The session restarted at 14:46, with Timo able to add a further 32 laps to his tally.
Timo Glock: "It's been a good first day here in India. The track is just awesome and really good fun to drive. It's been an enjoyable day without any problems. The car felt okay, it has a reasonable balance to it and we were able to get through the entire programme and achieve good set-up work. Now we just have to analyse the data overnight and see what we can do for tomorrow. I can't wait to get back in the car again here!"
Jerome D'Ambrosio: "The afternoon session ended quite early for me as I made a mistake out of turn 11 and hit the wall, damaging the rear wing and right rear corner a bit. But apart from that I think I was running fine until then. We have lost some track time but we still have tomorrow's FP3 to make up for it, so that will be the plan."
John Booth, Team Principal: "From the moment we arrived in India and finally got to see the track at first hand, we've all been incredibly impressed with the layout of the circuit and the two days of preparation seemed like an eternity before we were able to see the cars in action. Certainly watching the cars here you can see that the drivers are enjoying this track, however it has caught a number of them out during the two sessions today. FP1 was a fairly straightforward programme for both our cars with a few aero experiments on front wings, followed by runs on the hard tyre to familiarise the drivers with the track. Into FP2 we split the programme, with Timo concentrating more on set-up work with two sets of the Soft tyre and Jerome conducting some of the long run tyre work. Unfortunately, Jerome ended up being one of the drivers that was caught out by the track, however I'm sure he will maximise his time tonight looking through the data and completing his final preparations in FP3 tomorrow ahead of qualifying. Timo and his crew have had a fantastic day and he seems to be pushing his set-ups in a new direction, which is working well for him. Hopefully he will continue building this into a solid qualifying performance."
Check out our India Friday gallery, here.