Young Driver Test
Silverstone Circuit, Northampton, UK
12 July 2012
Day One of our Young Driver Test got underway at Silverstone today, where our British Grand Prix infrastructure was still in place to add a real sense of occasion to this important opportunity. On the receiving end of that opportunity were Marussia Carlin GP2’s Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto, both of whom have tested an F1 car previously and indeed Rio’s debut F1 run was in one of our cars back in 2010.
With the benefit of further single-seater experience since their F1 test debuts, both drivers were eager to show how much they have developed. They were each given a half day’s running in the MR-01 on the Grand Prix Circuit today, starting with 21 year old British hopeful, Max.
Max got off to a good start in sunny conditions similar to last Sunday’s race. He completed 34 laps during the morning session and posted a fastest lap of 1:36.558. Towards the end of his morning session the car stopped out on track when some electrical noise caused the engine protection system to cut in, but by that time Max had accumulated good mileage.
After lunch there was a slight delay as the team rigged the car with aerodynamic measurement devices and then 19 year old Indonesian Rio got his programme underway. He made steady progress and was faring well, until a fluid leak confined him to the garage and the weather closed in. He ended the day with a fastest lap of 1:37.404 after 19 laps.
Tomorrow the action switches to the International Circuit configuration where Rio will start the day with his morning session before Max returns to the car in the afternoon.
“Obviously I’m really happy to be given this chance anyway, but to be at a track where F1 has just been racing, and in my own home country, is even better. Once I got to grips with the car I was very happy and felt at home in the cockpit and in the team straight away. As we progressed I felt that I could really push the car and from then on we started to do some team development work, particularly with the engine, which gave me the chance to learn more about the controls. I also completed a qualifying run and I felt like I could really attack the track. I ended the morning having really enjoyed the experience and I can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon now.”
“It was incredible to get my first F1 test run with the Marussia F1 Team back in 2010, so to be given a second opportunity is obviously very special. I feel I have developed significantly as a driver and I’m better equipped and prepared all round. It’s a little disappointing that I was only able to complete 19 laps today; even without the leak the weather turned against us later in the day. It was still a very valuable experience for me and I really enjoyed working with the team. Everything was very well structured ahead of the test and here at Silverstone and the whole team are very open and always working together well. I was very happy with the balance and the car is very different to the one I drove in 2010. I’m very comfortable and feel there is a lot more to come from me tomorrow. We don’t know what to expect from the weather yet; I hope it is dry but even if it is wet it will be good wet running experience for me. I’m looking forward to the morning.”