Marussia F1's second day of testing at Mugello might have begun positively, but losing a chunk of the afternoon session brought the team back down to earth.
Just as on day one, the Banbury squad made good progress early on, as Charles Pic achieved a further 46 productive laps in chassis MR01-01 as he focused on set-up evaluations, particularly race-oriented work and detailed exploration of the front suspension, which is not possible during race weekend Fridays. The French rookie also began an evaluation of some brand new rear suspension components, before team-mate Timo Glock was due to take over after lunch.
“The dry conditions this morning meant we were able to really make some good progress with the set-up programme,” Pic noted, “The track was a little bit damp at first, but it got better and better all the time as the temperature started to increase.
“I was very happy with the direction we were taking and we got some good data from the car. The developments we have here are a definite step forward and I think, because of our programme, there was quite a lot more to come from the package. Although my running is complete I will stay here for the final day tomorrow as there is a lot we can continue to understand from the car to prepare us fully for Barcelona next weekend.”
Despite the sweet start to the day, things turned slightly more sour in the afternoon when the start of Glock's programme was abbreviated by a power steering issue. The German completed an installation run, but it was immediately clear that there was a problem, and the team opted to change the steering rack, which took two hours. This confined Glock to the garage until the final hour of running and compromised the debut of a new front wing as part of the wider aerodynamic upgrade for the European season.
“Not a great second part of the day as our problems cost us half of the afternoon session,” the veteran sighed, “I had to get used to the track quickly, which was not easy as there are a lot of blind corners. We did some basic set-up work for the last hour-and-a-half, which I was happy with, but we have a big programme for tomorrow now and I hope it will be a trouble-free day for me.”
Team boss John Booth shared Glock's frustration, but tried to focus on the better aspects of the day.
“On a positive note, we have seen very clear signs that we have made a good step with our upgrade package, so it is a shame that our progress has been hampered again this afternoon,” he claimed, “Yesterday was similarly frustrating - for all of the teams actually - but Charles has at least been able to attack most of his programme elements.
“We will therefore be hoping for a more consistent day tomorrow so we can even up the balance in terms of mileage and feedback to ensure we are as prepared as possible for when we field the full upgrade package in Barcelona.”