Robert Wickens makes his F1 testing debut in Vairano
"Driving the car is obviously a natural step in my progression"
Marussia Virgin Racing completed its third straight-line aero test of the season in Vairano today, providing a further opportunity for a rising talent from its Young Driver Programme to gain their first experience in a Formula One car.
This time, it was the turn of Marussia Virgin Racing Reserve Driver Robert Wickens, who is also currently leading the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship.
After introducing an aerodynamic upgrade to the car last weekend at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, the team headed straight to Vairano to continue to understand and optimise the package. As Monza is a unique track, they took the opportunity to run in high-downforce specification to complete more aerodynamic correlation work.
Robert completed 210kms in the MVR-02 in what was a solid day of testing for the team, enabling it to gather plenty of data with which to further develop the package.
John Booth, Team Principal: “It was a slow start to the day due to an issue with the engine, however the Cosworth technicians working with the team did a good job to solve the problem as quickly as possible. From that point on, the day ran pretty much to plan and we have been able to collect a huge amount of data to analyse. Robert also did a great job in his F1 testing debut. It was his first time in the MVR-02 car and he adapted very quickly to the controls and steering wheel. It has been a very positive experience for him which he has handled very well.”
Robert Wickens, Reserve Driver: “It was great to work with the team in this way. Driving the car is obviously a natural step in my progression and education as a Reserve Driver with Marussia Virgin Racing. Like all drivers I’m eager for seat time and the work we did today undoubtedly plays an important role for the team in its aerodynamic development program. It was a good day and I was happy to sample the car for myself, albeit in a straight line, having watched Timo and Jérôme behind the wheel for the past couple of months!”