Marussia: Rewarding to see continued steps forward with our race pace
27 October, 2013
The Marussia F1 Team notched up another strong two-car finish in today’s 2013 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix, following a thrilling split-strategy duel between Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton. In the end it was Max who triumphed, taking P18 with only a hair’s breadth – 0.7s – between him and his team-mate.
Max was eager to maintain his record of finishing every race so far this season, but despite a fantastic start off the line, his chances hung in the balance for a while after he was struck from behind by the Caterham of van der Garde. A lap later Max was fighting an issue on the left rear wheel and it looked like he may not be able to continue. Thankfully, the problem improved over the course of the next few laps, allowing him to recover and find some impressive pace. Having started on the Medium tyre, he completed a two-stop race with a final six-lap stint on the Soft tyre. In strategic terms he was neck and neck with Jules at this point in the race but Max gave it all he had in the final laps on the Medium tyre and after the switch he emerged from the pit lane just 0.8s ahead.
Jules also got off to a strong start. In contrast to Max he began his race on the Soft tyre, switching to the Medium tyre after 5 laps. He drove the perfect race, maintaining a good gap ahead of the remaining Caterham of Pic until he too retired, along with his team-mate. Unfortunately for Jules, a pit stop delay cost him 11 seconds, which made all the difference at the end of the race.
Max Chilton: “I’m so happy with my performance in that race. The start was great and with the help of my engineers we did a good job of driving around a problem that at one stage had looked like it might end in retirement. Thankfully it eased and we could set about recovering our strategy, which in the end played out very nicely for me. From the video, the circumstances of the first corner seem pretty clear – I was ahead of van der Garde and he hit both Pic and myself with his front wing. When I looked in my mirrors I could see [that] he had damaged his wing. Overall, it hasn’t been an entirely straightforward weekend but we have been there or thereabouts with the Caterhams on pace and we had it in the car today to do a good job. I’m obviously very happy to maintain my record of finishing every race but it will be an even nicer feeling if I can still be saying that in Brazil! My thanks to the team for all the hard work, which is clearly paying off. Finally, congratulations to Sebastian on a well-deserved fourth title.”
Jules Bianchi: “I am happy that we finished the race with both cars again but disappointed with my position to be honest. Our two strategies were very close, although the theory was that mine would be just a little quicker. The car was good and the strategy should have paid off had it not been for a problem at the first pit stop, which cost me a lot of time. At the end of the race that really made the difference. Overall we have to be pleased with the car performance and think positively about every opportunity for the team to hold position in the Championship. My best wishes to Sebastian – a great achievement for him.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Once again we enjoyed two impressive starts here in India today. Max’s start in particular catapulted him past both Caterhams and, save for a small incident in Turn 1, it was clear that we were going to emerge out of that corner with both of ours cars ahead of the two Caterhams. From this point on it was a fascinating race between our two drivers, who were well clear of Pic. We had started with two very different strategies to address Jules and Max’s relative positions on the grid and we knew that we would see the net result of that only at the point at which they were both running in their final stint – when Max would be switching to the Soft tyre for his final six-lap stint. On paper, Jules’ strategy should have put him ahead but a loss of time in the pits meant that ultimately Max came home in front, albeit by the narrowest of margins. Overall I commend both drivers on two excellent race performances and once again Max maintains his record of 100% reliability. It is also rewarding to see continued steps forward with our race pace. Finally, many congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on his fourth Drivers’ Championship victory.”
Subbed by AJN.