The Marussia Carlin GP2 team enjoyed a successful first day of official testing in Barcelona today, with British driver Max Chilton setting the fastest time of the afternoon. Chilton’s time was quick enough to make him the second fastest driver of the day overall. Team mate Rio Haryanto continued to make excellent progress ahead of his first season in the series and finished the day seventh fastest overall.

It was a slow start for the GP2 drivers this morning as a cold start to the test prompted most teams to stay in the garages until conditions improved. Despite preparing for his rookie season in the GP2 Series, 19 year-old Haryanto demonstrated the progress he was making to set the fourth fastest time of the morning, while Chilton chose to save his new tyres for the afternoon session and was ninth.

Following time with their engineers over the lunch break, Chilton and Haryanto were back on track for the afternoon. While the early stages of the session were marred by two red flags, the second half of the session passed without incident allowing the drivers to complete a detailed test programme. After making various set-up changes, Chilton posted the fastest time of the afternoon with an hour of running still to go, but the Briton’s time remained unbeaten for the rest of the session.

With the morning session seeing the slightly quicker times, Chilton’s lap time of 1.29.479 was enough to put him second fastest of the day, while Haryanto was an impressive seventh fastest overall.

Reflecting on his day on track, Chilton said, “Today has been a great day to show that our work throughout the winter is taking us in the right direction. We were quick last week at the Jerez test and now we have proved that we are quick here as well. The team has jelled into a brilliant unit and it’s a great environment to work in for a driver.”

Trevor Carlin added, “The team are doing a great job and have made a fantastic start to the season with two successful tests so far. Max is really leading the team and his experience is really paying dividends now, while Rio has impressed us hugely with his mature attitude and progress so far.”

Testing continues tomorrow.