Chilton: To end in P1 obviously a real bonus
13 May 2014 – Max Chilton believes Marussia made 'a really big step' on Tuesday during the post-Spanish Grand Prix test, and after he went quickest late on few could disagree.
Chilton, who bolted on super softs at the end and who was running a qualifying simulation, posted a 1:26.434 lap, leaving him 0.227 seconds up on Lotus reserve driver Charles Pic and 0.240 seconds up on the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. The time would have not only have put him easily through Q1 and Q2, but it would have placed him fourth on the grid, behind only the Mercedes' and Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull.
"Generally we've had quite a successful day and to end it in P1 is obviously a real bonus," Chillton noted. "We've made steady progress throughout the day and to get the car to such a good place in terms of set-up, and then be able to see just how much we can extract from it, is a really big step from the race on Sunday to what we have achieved today."
"The conditions were pretty tricky this morning and on one occasion caught me out when I locked up and went straight on into the gravel," he continued. "It's always good to get some wet weather experience with the car though; there are quite a few occasions over the next few races where I can see that coming in quite handy."
"After the lunch break, once the weather had improved, we were really able to start working through the set-up improvements we wanted to explore further after the weekend," he continued.
"We went step by step through the programme, verifying everything we had concluded from the race here, and we can be really pleased with where we've got the car to.
"With another day of testing, I think we can leave Barcelona with the package in a really strong position."
Team-mate Jules Bianchi will now take over from Chilton for the second and final day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday.