Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, near Florence, Italy
1-2-3 May 2012
Day One - Tuesday 1 May
PIC P10 1:27.359
The first in-season test since 2008 got underway in extremely wet conditions at Mugello today where Charles was our man on track. The objective for day one was an evaluation of the latest aerodynamic upgrades, set for introduction in Spain next weekend, as well as a tyre programme designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of the Pirelli P-Zero rubber.
The overnight rain had receded for the start of the morning session, albeit the track was damp and the extreme wet tyre was required for the installation run. As the track started to dry, Charles conducted much of his running on the Intermediate tyre before switching to the Hard slick compound later in the session. The weather remained changeable and the absence of consistent conditions interrupted progress with our intended programme.
This afternoon the rain intensified and we elected to conclude the day’s running early in favour of making some planned changes to the car for tomorrow.
Our engineers were at least able to gather some useful data with which to evaluate the aerodynamic package but the emphasis on this aspect of the plan will now move to later in the test, when more conducive conditions are expected.
Charles continues in the car tomorrow morning when he will focus on tyre evaluation work before handing over the MR01-01 to Timo for the balance of the test.
Charles Pic #25
“Today it has been difficult to find any kind of rhythm as the weather was changing all the time. All running is good for us because there is always more we can learn about the car, but it will be good to spend tomorrow morning focusing more on the tyre work in the drier conditions. The aero developments look good, but there is plenty more to explore in the next two days to help us prepare for Barcelona. A short day, but useful.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“The rain has rather intervened with our plans today and it goes without saying that we would have been a lot happier had we been able to knuckle down to our full planned programme. Nonetheless, we have seen encouraging early signs from the new aero developments and we have some data to start working with. We did not run the DRS or work with the tyres this morning, so we don’t have any representative lap times with which to gauge the true benefit of the package. Hopefully we’ll get closer to those conclusions in the next couple of days, weather permitting. Charles has done a solid job for us and the car has been working well, so we look forward to more progress from tomorrow onwards.”