Marussia: It is clear that we have taken a step back in terms of pace
3 November, 2013
This evening’s 2013 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix did not go entirely to plan for the Marussia F1 Team, but Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton finished the race where they started, in 20th and 21st positions respectively.
Max got a great start and managed to leapfrog the Caterhams, but further into the opening lap he lost out both to them and his team-mate Jules Bianchi, who was able to squeeze by. From there onwards they held station whilst both battling with the car balance and a lack of pace today meant they were unable to keep in touch with the competition.
Both drivers started on the Soft tyre and completed two pit stops, taking on the Medium tyre for the following two stints.
Max maintains his record of finishing every race this season and the Marussia F1 Team still holds 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Jules Bianchi: “I think we are quite surprised by our performance today after we had seemed to arrive at an improvement in qualifying. It was a very long race, I have to say. The car balance was not as we expected and I had to really push very hard to keep pace with the Caterhams, which is not ideal for managing the tyres. I think we will have to have a good look at everything before we go to Austin as, in theory, our new developments had seemed positive. It has been a tough weekend so we hope for better things in the final two races.”
Max Chilton: “That was a tough race for us today. We’ve made some good progress this weekend but for some reason we were unable to show that today. The start was good – again – so well done to the Team for getting on top of that because that last few races have been very good in that respect. Into the race the car balance was difficult and we were just battling for pace. It’s a shame, because our new developments seemed positive, but they haven’t translated into the race today. On the plus side, I finished yet another race – so that’s 17 out of 17 now – and of course we still hold position in the Constructors’ Championship. I think we have a lot of work to do to get on top of this before Austin as we need two strong final races.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “A very disappointing race for us today and it is clear that we have taken a step back in terms of pace relative to qualifying and where we were in India. We will need to analyse the race in a lot of detail in order to understand why that is, especially when we consider that our qualifying performance looked good yesterday. During the race both drivers reported poor car balance and I’m sure this will be the main focus of our work between now and Austin. On the positive side we saw good starts again this week, both cars ran reliably and we got on top of all the issues that we saw yesterday. We leave Abu Dhabi with a lot of work to do but we will be back to strength in two weeks’ time.”