The first two free practice sessions for this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix got underway in Istanbul today, where Virgin Racing fielded two revised chassis for the first time. The Istanbul Park Circuit basked in hot and sunny conditions for the first day of running, the ambient high
of 32o.C producing track temperatures of up to 52o.C.
The day got off to a slow start with Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi trying to find a good balance with their cars in the morning session on a dirty track. The team explored a number of adjustments during the lunch break and these yielded some improvement in the afternoon session, in which Timo and Lucas were able to complete their planned programme of evaluation of both the aerodynamic developments for this race and the Bridgestone tyre options.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"Today hasn't been the best start to the weekend. We experienced a lot of balance problems with the car and this morning I was worried because it looked like we were going backwards rather than moving forward in the way we had hoped. Things were a bit better this afternoon but we have to home in on what is causing us the problem and find a solution overnight so that we can improve for tomorrow. Generally, at this stage, we have a big gap to close at the moment."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"We've had a trouble-free and productive day in terms of completing our programme. Having said that, the set-up is far from perfect so we have a lot of work to do to find some solutions and improve the car for tomorrow. Despite this, it is good to have the revised car for the first time and to know that I will be able to push it on Sunday."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"Our programme was a bit unusual today in terms of running higher fuel loads compared to how we normally approach a race weekend for a few specific reasons. When combined with a dirty and changing track, this made interpreting driver feedback and data a bit tricky, but we seemed to make progress this afternoon and I think we'll make some more tonight. I think things will get a bit more representative tomorrow when we make the adjustments and get dialed in on low fuel."