Marussia: We still didn’t quite have the pace we needed
8 September, 2013
The Marussia F1 Team’s Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton ended today’s 53 lap Formula 1 Gran Premio D’Italia 2013 in 19th and 20th positions. After a disappointing qualifying yesterday, the pair were pinning their hopes on the MR02’s race pace, but despite strong drives from both they were unable to displace their nearest rivals at the final European race of the season.
Jules and Max started the race from 21st and 22nd on the grid and ran the first stint on the Medium tyre. They made one stop each, switching to the Hard tyre on race laps 22 and 23 respectively.
Jules Bianchi: “I was really pleased with my start as I got ahead of both Caterhams into the first corner. Unfortunately our early pace was not sufficient to hold them off and they regained position by the end of the first lap. In the first stint we had started to make some good progress and were catching them but after the pit stop the balance was not there and we struggled on the Hard tyre, dropping back from them again. We were on a one stop, Caterham on two, and I was able to move up to P18 and keep van der Garde behind for a while, but not long enough unfortunately and it was especially tough to make any progress during the blue flag phase. It is a shame I could not have a strong race today at a track I love, but on to Singapore now, which I am really looking forward to.”
Max Chilton: “Another tough race today and one which underlined the balance problems we’ve been experiencing all weekend. The start was okay but we weren’t able to keep pace with the competition today. What I was encouraged by was my pace versus my team-mate – there was nothing between us for the first 25 laps but every time I got close enough to overtake I lost downforce, so I couldn’t do anything to improve. I kept with him throughout the rest of the race, despite experiencing the toughest blue flag phase of the season, when it was really hard to make sure I gave the space needed at the right time and not suffer a huge loss of time myself. Time now to say goodbye to the European phase of my debut season for what will be a very challenging run of long-haul races I think.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Coming into the race today we had quite a bit to contend with. The weather in the half hour prior to going to the grid was very mixed and deciding which tyres to start on was tricky. In the end we gave the drivers a compare between intermediate and the dry tyres in case we experienced further rain before the start of the race. In the end the weather held off for the rest of the race and we were able to run to our planned strategy of a one-stop race. We’ve seen very good levels of degradation on our car all weekend, which is an improvement over the last few races and the work we have done in this area has paid off to allow us to complete a one-stop race versus Caterham’s two-stop. Unfortunately we still didn’t quite have the pace we needed to finish in front of them but it was very close with van der Garde at the end. In the dying stages we were getting very low on fuel and given that we had tried to race van der Garde as hard as we could, we had to dramatically slow the pace on the last three laps to ensure we could make it to the flag.” (Marussia F1)
Subbed by AJN.