Jun.10 (Virgin Racing) The Park Jean-Drapeau, where the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is located, was today the venue for the first two sessions of Free Practice for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
The circuit is not a permanent race track and is always dirty at the start of the Grand Prix weekend, so after an installation lap at the beginning of the session both Timo Glock and Jérôme d’Ambrosio opted to wait for the track to clean up. Both cars were out on track 40 minutes into the session, working through a planned programme of aerodynamic evaluation as the circuit requires a low-drag setup. Jérôme and Timo were classified 21st and 23rd in the session.
Pirelli, in addition to supplying the Soft and Super Soft tyres as Prime and Option, also provided a development Medium specification tyre for use today. Jérôme ran this tyre in the morning session, and both drivers used it in the afternoon.
The programme progressed well in the afternoon, although the session was red-flagged twice, the second instance being due to Jérôme hitting the wall at Turn 4. He was unhurt but the damage will require a new chassis to be built up overnight. Timo managed to set a time on Option tyres and was classified 21st, Jérôme was unable to complete the session and was 24th.
“I would say today was a bit of a crash fest, and that messed up our programme quite a bit, especially in the second practice. In the morning we were just trying to evaluate a bit of downforce and I think we got enough data to be able to work on a reasonable setup for the rest of the weekend. The second practice was all about trying to see how the tyres behave here on a long run. Unfortunately due to the red flags we were not able to complete a proper run and I had to rush to try to get at least a run on the Super Softs. The weather looks like it might play its part in what could be an interesting rest of the weekend, so I think we can expect an exciting race.”
“The day was going pretty well today. I had a good feeling with the car and I really enjoy driving here. But then I made a mistake in turn 3, which pushed me wide on to the kerb at Turn 4. I couldn’t turn in and so I ended up hitting the wall. It’s a shame to finish the day like this but I was happy how the car was behaving on the circuit so I’m sure we can bounce back tomorrow, I’m just very sorry for the team as the guys now have a lot of work to do tonight.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“It has been a particularly tough start to our weekend in Montreal and as a consequence the mechanics and engineers have a long evening ahead of them to get us back on track. Unfortunately Jérôme’s crash is going to require a chassis change due to extensive damage to the nose fixings and this is a big job that will take us late into the night. The engineers meanwhile will be spending most of the evening analysing slightly less data than we would normally have gathered during a Friday session due to the frequent red flags – one of which was caused by us of course. Nevertheless it is clear that we need to make the most of the data we have and try to improve the car overnight.”
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