Olivier Panis has praised protege Charles Pic for the work he has carried out ahead of his F1 debut in Australia later this month, but is less happy with the problems that have denied the Frenchman a run in his 2012 machine.
Pic's Marussia team opted to miss the opening pre-season test in Jerez while it concentrated on the build of the MR01, before running both the Frenchman and team-mate Timo Glock in its 2011 car at the second session in Barcelona in an effort to give them track time before the new machine was introduced at the Circuit de Catalunya during the third and final test last week.
When the car failed the mandatory FIA crash test, however, the team decided to skip the second Barcelona outing in order to correct the problems, leaving both drivers short on mileage - and without the chance to get to know the new car before taking to the Albert Park circuit in practice for the opening round.
Panis, while content with what Pic managed to do in his first F1 outing since impressing Marussia in last year's Abu Dhabi 'young driver' test, was less satisfied with the build-up he has been given.
"It's sad and frustrating," he told French radio station RMC
, "The start of the season will be difficult for Charles.
"He has still a lot of running [to do], but did a great job [in the first Barcelona test]. He did what we asked and everyone was pleased with him. "
Marussia's expected opposition, HRT, is due to debut its 2012 car during an F1 filming session in Barcelona later today [Monday].