• Jerez Test, Day Three

Chilton excited by Marussia potential

ESPN Staff
February 7, 2013 « Reliability problems were 'massively unlucky' - Rosberg | Raikkonen happy with E21 despite clutch issue »
Max Chilton was 10th quickest on day three at Jerez © Sutton Images

Max Chilton said Marussia was pleasantly surprised by the MR02's potential after some performance runs on day three at Jerez.

Having only completed 60 laps in total across the opening two days of the first test of the season, Chilton more than doubled Marussia's tally on Thursday with a number of race simulation runs. At the end of the day he ran new tyres in some low-fuel performance runs which saw him end the day 3.4 seconds off the best time of the week so far and Chilton said it had been an encouraging result for the team.

"Until this afternoon we didn't really know [the car's potential], we'd done a few quick runs but only one lap and then we've either had an issue or a red flag so we hadn't focused on it," Chilton said. "Then today, after doing some mileage we were confident that the car was running well and it was the first signs that we could actually see how it's handling. For me, I drove the 2012 car; it's obviously a different track but I know when it shows some potential and I think the team knew as well so when we came in we had smiles all round."

Chilton also said the high-fuel mileage had helped both the team's knowledge of the car and his own feelings with the new Pirelli tyres.

"I think we've learned a great deal. Obviously Monday we had a few problems so we didn't get great mileage in, and Luiz yesterday had a few little problems as well so we haven't done a lot of miles before today, but today we said we wanted to do a lot of mileage and we focused on long runs to check the longevity of the car and we did that. I think we did 78 laps; most of them were race runs on high fuel and it was really positive. I learned how the tyres are working and it was nice to finish the day with a couple of qualy runs and the car showed more potential than we thought, so we're all pretty happy going in to tomorrow."