The opening sessions of the 2012 Korean Grand Prix got underway at the Korea International Circuit at Yeongam today, where the day proved a little challenging for the Marussia
F1 Team as it worked towards balancing the car to the peculiarities of this racetrack.
: "Not an easy first day for us in Korea. I think we had reasonable pace in FP1 but the car behaviour was already a bit difficult this morning. In FP2 we weren't really able to improve. The rest of the cars in the field made a step forward I think and unfortunately we did not, so we need to find out why we could not get rid of the strange car behaviour that we have experienced here so far. We need to have a close look into the data and see what we can find there because this is limiting the pace of our car at the moment. Finding the problem overnight wont be an easy job, but the car has to be better for tomorrow so that is the challenge for us."
: "In Free Practice 1 this morning I felt that my first experience of this track was quite positive. We did some good work with the new floor to compare the data with Suzuka while I started to learn the circuit and get up to speed. This afternoon I was less comfortable with the steering. As we were unlikely to improve unless we changed something, and in fact the car was very difficult to drive, we decided to switch the steering rack, although this would mean losing some track time. The change was positive but the car was still not as we would like, so we have to work to understand why."
John Booth, Team Principal: "In FP1 this morning we completed the installation laps with both cars and Timo was uncomfortable with the steering. We opted to revert to a specification of steering rack that we ran with in Japan and, as we hadnt planned to do much running in the first session anyway to allow the track to improve, we were hopeful that this wouldn't affect our programme too much. Once the change had been actioned, Timo got up to speed quite quickly. With Charles, we focused more on his acclimatisation to this new circuit and at the same time did some comparison work with the new floor following its debut in Japan. This afternoon, once Charles was a little more attuned to the circuit, he experienced the same lack of confidence with the steering and once again, we opted to trade running time for the opportunity to improve by reverting to the prior specification of steering rack. Again the change was beneficial. This seems to be an issue relating more to the characteristics of this specific circuit, as opposed to a 'problem'. Neither driver is fully happy with the balance, although we end FP2 feeling happier as a result of the changes made. It is also appropriate at this stage to say that we plan to fit a new engine to Charles' car this evening in the knowledge that, as his ninth engine of the season, we will incur a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday."