Sunday, May 22, 2011

Good Race Pace in Barcelona

The second round of the GP3 Series took place this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the Marussia Manor Racing GP3 Team.

The weekend started positively, as all three drivers were always in the top 15 during the Free Practice sessions and with Rio Haryanto always within the top 4. However, it was a more frustrating story in Saturday’s qualifying session, with neither Rio, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs nor Matias Laine able to complete a lap without having lift for other cars out on track. It was an extremely competitive session where only one second covered the top twenty-four drivers. Adrian qualified in 12th position, Matias was 21st and Rio was 23rd.

All three managed to get the cars back home after the first race of the weekend after some good overtaking manoeuvres, with Adrian finishing 11th, Matias 19th and Rio 20th.

In today’s second race Marussia Manor Racing demonstrated once again that it has the pace to be at the front. Rio, who was starting from 20th position, managed to end up 11th. Adrian stalled at the beginning of the race and dropped to the back, but despite finishing 23rd, he showed a similar pace to the drivers at the front. Matias finished the race in 24th position after a pitstop to replace a badly flatspotted tyre.

The Marussia Manor Racing GP3 team now looks forward to the two tests that will take place on 1-2 June in Hungary and two weeks later in Valencia, before the next round of the Series on 24-26 June in Spain again, at the Valencia Street Circuit.

Pete Sliwinski, Team Manager

“It has been another weekend where we have demonstrated that we can fight for top positions and that the car has the pace to race for wins. But we have to always be on top form and the drivers have to show their ability at the wheel of the car. It has been another weekend where we were expecting a better result than what we have finally achieved.”

Rio Haryanto

“Once again we have demonstrated that we have a good race pace. It was frustrating having to start again from the back of the grid and move my way up during the race. But we have to try and do a better job in qualifying so that we can start the races in a better position.”

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs

“Although the weekend doesn’t look great looking at the results, we have improved a lot in terms of pace since Istanbul. We can be happy about this. Without the gear change issues in qualifying the weekend would have looked different. We still finished 11th in the first race, which was good and we were as quick as the leaders. We now have four days of testing to further develop the car to our liking before the next race weekend.”

Matias Laine

“On Friday in the free practice sessions we did a good job, but in Qualifying I wasn’t able to achieve my targets. When you start a race at the back of the grid it’s very hard to finish in a good position. But the team has been working hard and I am already looking forward to the next race where I hope to find a solution to the problems I had during qualifying here in Barcelona.”