Gonzalez pleased despite gearbox failure in practice

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Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez is pleased with how his first official Formula One session went despite completing just seven laps due to a gearbox failure.

The Venezuelan driver replaced Jules Bianchi for FP1 in Bahrain, and although the issue curtailed his running, he was able to take the positives out of the session.

“Although my first experience of the MR02 was quite brief, it provided a good start for my FP1 programme at various races this year,” Gonzalez explained in a team statement.

“With my programme, I had actually experienced and achieved quite a few different things before the problem with the gearbox. I felt comfortable with the car and I could see that Max and Jules were going to have quite a challenging day with the heat and the track conditions.”

Gonzalez spoke of his anticipation for his next practice appearance for Marussia, although he did not reveal at which race this would be.

“I’m looking forward to being able to make a wider contribution to the team’s performance during a grand prix weekend and next time will be better for sure.”

Although he only completed seven laps, Gonzalez lapped just eight-tenths slower than full-time driver Max Chilton, which is certainly impressive on debut. If he manages to repeat this performance when he next takes part in a practice session, Rodolfo Gonzalez could be joining his compatriot Pastor Maldonado with a full-time race seat in the future.

MORE: Watch qualifying and the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.