The Marussia F1 Team resumed their run of two-car finishes today as Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton brought their cars home in 17th and 19th positions respectively in a dry Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
The pair started the 70 lap race on the Pirelli PZero White Medium tyre and ran long into the race for nearly 40 laps, managing the tyre life exceptionally well before switching to the Red Supersoft until the flag.
In a race that has never favoured the Marussia F1 Team, this was the best combined result achieved in the four visits it has made to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It was good to be able to enjoy a dry race today because we were back on the pace we were showing earlier in the weekend in similar conditions. It was a little bit daunting to know we were planning a one stop strategy and would have to go so long on the Medium tyre, but my engineers and I kept in close contact and worked together to ensure we could manage the tyre life as we needed to. Although we had to be quite careful, in the end we got to 40 laps no problem, although it was good to switch to the Supersoft and be able to secure position. I think the result is quite pleasing and we are back where we need to be in terms of the competition. We hope for good things from our next step in Silverstone, where we will be aiming for a good performance in an important race for the Team.
We got a good start but struggled on the first lap, then after a few laps we were able to see that our strategy was going to play out well for us. We started on the Medium tyre and ran long for just under 40 laps. I was quite pleased with how well we were managing the tyres even late on in that stint, so a good job from my engineers who were working with me to achieve that, enabling me to still be able to push hard on the last few laps before we pitted for the Supersoft. The early part of the second stint worked well but later on I was struggling with the tyre wear and I wasn’t able to defend my position from Pic. It was good to add to our tally of two-car finishes though and we can feel optimistic as we head towards a very important race for the Team and for me – our home race, the British Grand Prix.
John Booth, Team Principal:
It was quite a tough morning for the engineers who were working with less data than we would normally have collected on the dry tyres over the course of the weekend here. Determining our starting tyre and overall strategy was always going to be tough. The opening laps of the race didn’t quite go as planned and we lost ground on the prime tyre, which suffered with warm-up. At this point it did feel like perhaps we hadn’t started the race the right way, however both the drivers and engineers did a good job to hold their nerve and allow the much improved durability of the prime tyre to show over the option tyre. We never expected for this to be a particularly good race for us but we’ve been working hard on improving our tyre wear life and we reaped the benefit of this focus with our first stint of around 40 laps. That really enabled us to gain good track position on the Caterhams. With a total of only two pit stops for the Team today we knew that each had to count and the mechanics did a fantastic job to service both cars in a quick time. Really then it was about managing the wear life on the Supersoft tyre and getting both cars to the end of the race. Overall we can be pleased that we have made progress at what has traditionally been a less than favourable circuit for our cars. We leave Canada pleased and in good spirits as we prepare for our home Grand Prix in three weeks’ time. (Marussia)
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