Marussia: Slowly but surely eating into the gap to Caterham

Jul.29 (Marussia Press Release) Lewis Hamilton delivered a flawless drive from pole position to the chequered flag to win Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren and revive his challenge for this year’s Formula One drivers’ world championship.
The Marussia F1 Team’s Charles Pic was pleased to achieve all his objectives for the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend today as he ended the race as the team’s lead driver, not only closing the gap to Caterham but enjoying a legitimate battle with Vitaly Petrov for much of the race.

After bogging down at the start, Charles made a swift recovery and was soon in touch with the Caterham ahead, trading lap times with the Russian driver. He ran for 20 laps on the Pirelli P-Zero Medium tyre, then on the Soft option tyre, he was able to outpace the Caterham. He switched back to the Medium tyre on lap 39 and remaining on a two-stop strategy rather than the three-stopping car ahead, he was still matching lap times but unable to reduce the gap as he contended with advancing traffic.

Timo had a torrid race. A spin on lap 3 at turn 3 left him behind the HRT cars and some way adrift. He fought back but was stuck behind for a large chunk of the race. When he was able to get by – passing Karthikeyan on track and De La Rosa in the pits – he was at least able to reveal more of his true pace.

Charles Pic #25:
“I am very happy to end the first half of my first season in this way and to be achieving the targets I set for myself. The race didn’t begin so well, as I had a poor start again, so we must look at that and solve it for Spa and beyond as it is another factor that can help us progress in the race. After that, the race pace was very good and I am happy that our performance relative to the Caterhams is now much clearer to see, particularly as I had a nice and close battle with Petrov. Now we go into a long break when I will have the chance to reflect on the season so far and look at what we can do for the next half of the season. I would like to thank not just my engineers and car crew but the whole team for a very happy start to my F1 debut. It has not been easy for the team but we are making real progress. I wish everyone a good rest for the holidays and look forward to coming back fighting at the Belgian Grand Prix in four weeks’ time.”

Timo Glock #24:
“Another race to forget for me, a bit like Hockenheim. I had no pace and no balance in the car from the beginning on. Despite this I was still quicker in the first two laps but then experienced the rear end instability again. I lost the car suddenly under braking and couldn’t catch it. I spun and then I was behind the HRTs and struggled massively again with the balance. I don’t know what the problem is at the moment, but I think it is a good time for the break. My thanks to the team for the hard work in trying to resolve my problems with the car and I wish them a good holiday. I hope that we can all come back and enjoy a stronger second half of the season together.”

John Booth, Team Principal:
“First of all I would like to congratulate the whole team on the clear strides we have made so far this season which, based on today’s performance, are clearly evident. Whilst we have occupied similar race placings for much of the season, we have slowly but surely been eating into the gap to Caterham, pulled further away from HRT behind and, bigger picture, reduced the margin to the front running teams. With another very impressive drive today, Charles has shown just how far we have come, as he was in touch with – and occasionally quicker – than Petrov for a large part of the race. By contrast, Timo had another tough time and has not yet been able to benefit from the clear progress we are making with the package. A long break is just what the sport needs right now and we’ll go back to the UK, spend the week preparing for the long haul races in the not too distant future and then literally down tools for a couple of weeks to enjoy a well-earned holiday. It has been a challenging first seven months of the year and the whole team are to be congratulated for responding so well. I have every confidence that when we return to Spa in one month’s time, both drivers will be able to reap even more from the current package and the developments we will bring for Monza.”

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