Tuesday, November 19, 2013

United States GP Race Review - Marussia

The Marussia F1 Team took the fight to Caterham - and won - in today's 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. After a tough weekend up until qualifying, the Team bounced back sufficiently well to enable Jules Bianchi to remain ahead of both van der Garde and Pic from lights to flag. He finished in 18th position.

Max Chilton had a much more difficult task heading into the race as he would face a drive-through penalty imposed after yesterday's qualifying session, which needed to be served within the first five laps of the race. Losing so much time to the field so early in the race meant that he would not only struggle to close the gap but he would also hit the blue flag phase much sooner, and this indeed proved to be the case.

Jules Bianchi: "It's fair to say that today was the toughest race of the season for me. With just the one pitstop, switching from the Medium to the Hard tyre, it was a really long race with so much of my focus being given to looking after the tyres. Anyway, the start was good - enough to put me ahead of van der Garde - and then I'm really happy with the race I drove as we were easily able to keep both Caterhams behind. I have to say a big thanks to the whole Team as there has been a great deal of work not only to help us resolve the problems of the weekend, but also to bring new parts to the car and make them work to good effect at this late stage of the season. A really good race for us today and we go into the final race in Brazil next week able to feel more confident."

Max Chilton: "Heading into this race with the drive-through penalty to serve, I was always aware that this would be a tough and lonely race for me. I lost 15 seconds in the pitlane and the reality is that you are simply going to hit the blue flag phase much earlier and pay a hefty price for that in the second half of the race. I'm pleased with the job I did to try to play catch-up and I think my fastest lap reflects that. Unfortunately the other factors defined my race. On the bright side, I've finished yet another race - my 18th out of 18 - and the car is performing well versus the Caterhams, so we'll throw everything we have at the final race next weekend."

John Booth, Team Principal: "A fantastic result for both the Team and Jules today and one which is directly attributable to a lot of hard work both at the factory and at the track over the past few weeks. Up until yesterday's qualifying it is fair to say that we had experienced a very difficult weekend and the guys in the garage and the engineers have really put in a lot of effort to try and turn this weekend around. We saw the result of this teamwork paying off in the race for Jules and he made the most of this by driving an incredibly mature race. Max's race was clearly affected by the penalty he had to serve early on. His pace was very good and he recorded a faster lap than either of the Caterhams, which goes to show that that the gap at the end of the race is unrealistic and purely down to the increased amount of blue flags he saw. Both cars were aided by fantastic starts and the run into Turn 1 and for Jules this meant that he was able to stay ahead of van der Garde from start to finish. We had a good strategy on the pitwall and the pit stops worked well. Moreover, today's result is the fruition of some late developments that we have brought to the car thanks to the considerable efforts of the factory, who have achieved this performance increment whilst also trying to juggle the preparation of the 2014 car. This underlines just how much we are pushing for 2013, and for next season."

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