The Marussia F1 Team’s Timo Glock and Charles Pic rounded off a momentous weekend in Melbourne today by ending the season-opening 2012 Qantas Australian Grand Prix in 14th and 15th positions. For a car that has had no pre-season testing, the MR01 has behaved impeccably throughout its racing debut and rewarded all the hard work and determination that has brought the team through the tough winter months.
Both drivers delivered calm and assured performances in today’s race, at the conclusion of the most pressured of weekends. Timo was rewarded with the best birthday present he has had in several F1 seasons – he celebrates his 30th birthday in Melbourne today – and Charles’ Grand Prix debut really could not have been any more positive.
The pair lined up 20th and 21st on the grid for the 58-lap race at Albert Park and navigated their way through the first corner melée to elevate themselves to 13th and 18th respectively. The Safety Car brought out to clear Petrov’s stranded Caterham from the start-finish straight allowed them to pit for a second time and unlap themselves, before driving a relatively conservative final stint to ensure both cars got to the finish. Pic was forced to come into the garage just two laps before the end of the race after an oil pressure concern forced the team to be cautious with the car. He completed enough of the race to be classified 15th and the combined result of both drivers means the Marussia F1 Team leave the opening race in 10th place in the 12-team Constructors’ Championship.
Timo Glock #24
“A great race for the team and a huge reward for all the hard work and pressure over the last few months. It’s important to remember that we came here with no real running with the new car. Add the potential for reliability problems – because they always happen with every team in pre-season testing – and it has been quite a special weekend to get the car home in the first race with no issues. I chose a good line into turn one and was able to avoid the problems we saw there, moving up to 13th position. I had a bit of a fight with Caterham for a while but I knew I needed to concentrate on my own race. The car was very consistent and in the end, to finish 14th, I have to be happy with that and so do the team, as it is an important start for position in the Constructors’ Championship. The car gave me a birthday present for sure and I will enjoy that for now but tomorrow the hard work starts again as we have a lot to do to improve the car. I’ve said it before but my thanks again to the team. A great start.”
Charles Pic #25
“I am quite happy with my first race and very pleased for the team to have such a good debut for the car also. Everything was quite positive during the race; I had a few problems in the beginning and then I had to pull in a few laps from the end due to an oil pressure problem and the team wanted to be cautious with the car. It’s a shame I wasn’t able to take the chequered flag but I am happy to end the race in 15th position after the difficulties leading up to the start of the season. There is still so much work for us and more to come from me and the car but we have a lot of information from the weekend to help us prepare for this and for Malaysia next weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“I know I speak for the whole team when I say I am absolutely delighted with the new car’s racing debut this weekend in Melbourne. I said on Friday that, despite P12 for Timo in FP2, I didn’t want us to get carried away with ourselves because qualifying could be a different story and the race was highly likely to expose some of the reliability aspects of the car that we have not yet had the chance to explore due to our lack of testing. It really is quite something to have come so far in such a short space of time and in such challenging circumstances. Coming into the weekend the car had just 200kms of promotional running on demonstration tyres and since we started here on Friday we have completed 215 near faultless laps – that’s 1120kms. All credit to both drivers, who have been fantastic throughout. Timo talked all the way through the race, giving us vital feedback to add to the mountain of data we’ve been able to gather thanks to the good mileage. Charles’ debut has been very impressive indeed and made very clear to us that he means business in his debut year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our Partners – those who have been with us throughout and all the new names who joined us in the weeks leading up to the race – for their faith in the Marussia F1 Team, which I am pleased has been rewarded this weekend at Albert Park. We should be under no illusions that plenty of work lies ahead but 10th in the Constructors’’ Championship is not a bad place to start.”