An eye in…
Jérôme landed in Singapour on wednesday and had to stay in european time, which is not quite easy because he has to stay awake during the night there in Singapore and sleep the day! Your body is not really used to do that! But it seems to be also a fun experience and driving with artificial lights must be awesome!
And we can sing a Happy First-F1-day to Jérôme because one year ago he was driving the Virgin for the first time on this track! Well done :D
Thursday was, as always, a media & fan day. Lots of work to do! And it went on on Friday because Jérôme visited a leading jewellery store in downtown, which is a Marussia Virgin Team partner: Armin Strom.
Here’s the video (from http://www.marussiavirginracing.com ):
Friday: lights on and on track :D
All in all a good day for Jérôme. The first practice session was delayed because marshals make adjustments to loose kerbs. As a result, the session was cut in length to one hour. Then, it was shortened again as Kovalainen went on fire! Our #25 driver did only 13 laps and ended 21th with 1.57.798 as best time.
The second practice session was “normal” (except some little crashes and a big one of Buemi but on this tricky track it’s quite usual) and really dark (well just the sky of course^^). Jérôme did 25 laps but had to stop before the end as he did a little mistake which damaged the floor of his car and made it less efficient. His best time was 1.54.649.
“An interesting day getting back into Singapore mode. This is the first time I have had proper night running, so it’s very different – it’s quite warm and the race will definitely be long. It’s definitely going to be interesting. In terms of my performance today, I’m quite happy. FP1 went okay, even though we lost a bit of time – but we all did. FP2 started well with a race simulation. The only negative point is that on the new tyre run, on my Supersoft tyres, I went a bit wide on the kerb and damaged a bit of the front wing and the floor, as well as having to abort that lap because of the yellow flags. I came in and they repaired everything, but when I came back out the floor wasn’t optimal anymore and I definitely lost some performance on the tyres. So we will have to look into this and I’m sure it will be an interesting qualifying tomorrow.”
Saturday: when serious things begins. Not that friday was not important, but after the last practice session, the result became more significant and the goal is to be on the top. During the last practice session, Jérôme went out to do some runs and tried different set up for the quali & race. We can sum up the weather in 2 words: heat & humid! Hard conditions to drive but nothing can stop our belgian driver!!
The quali session was not easy but he managed to be before both HRT (which had some new things for this GP) and not so far from his teammate [only 0.209 between them] in 6 laps. So he will start the race 22nd. He’s a bit disappointed but that’s all he could do and we’re still (of course!) proud of him!
“I’m a bit disappointed with today’s qualifying really. As always we will go into the race tomorrow looking to maximise what we have”
Sunday: “Jérôme drove possibly his best race of the year today.” That’s not from me, but from the Team Principal and that’s even better to read!!! Jérôme did a perfect race, fighting with cars that are faster than his and ended the race 18th. We are more proud of him than ever and hope his last races (for this season of course!) will all be like this one! You can do it Jérôme!!
“I’m quite happy with my race today. I had a good start and pushed hard on the first two laps and then tried to save the tyres as we were following a two-stop strategy – that was pretty good. The last stint was long and not easy to manage. I could push, but I had to have in mind that I had to look after the tyres until the end of the race. It has been quite a good race. I’m satisfied and we need to continue like this. It’s certainly the toughest race I have done, but I managed to go to the end without many problems, so it was good.”