This afternoon’s Formula 1 Magyar Nagyd?j 2013 proved to be every bit as challenging as the Marussia F1 Team anticipated as the Hungaroring basked in temperatures reaching 35?C air and 51?C track.
Having started from the back of the grid, the team adopted a bold strategy, starting Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton on the Pirelli Medium tyre whilst their nearest competitors ahead were on the Yellow Softs.
Both drivers were struggling with the balance on this initial stint and this was relieved slightly following their first pitstops on laps 21 and 22 when they were able to switch to the Softs.
Two further stints each on the Medium tyre gave rise once more to their balance woes and for much of the second half of the race they were both fighting the car whilst working hard to manage tyre degradation.
The Marussia F1 Team now heads into the sport’s summer shutdown*still holding 10th position in the Constructors’ Championship, having maintained this placing since the season-opening race in Melbourne.
Jules Bianchi #22: “It was a very tough race today and we were struggling with the balance the whole time and having to work so hard to preserve the rear tyres. All 70 laps were a bit of a battle to be honest. On the positive side we remained reliable in a race which is very demanding for the cars, bringing two cars home once again. My thanks to the Team for a good job, especially today with the pitstops and high temperatures. They did their usual strong performance. Now we head into the summer break and it is a time to both rest but also think about what we can do when we come back for the second half of the season. It is so important that we hold our ground to our competitors in order to achieve our objectives this year.”
Max Chilton #23: “A really tough day today for the whole team and easily the hardest race of my career. The track is challenging enough at the best of times, with little or no respite the whole lap – and there are 70 of them. Compounding things further for us was a real balance shift on the Medium tyres, which we started the race on, and this eased only for a short while when we ran on the Soft tyre for the second stint. This made it really difficult to drive the car for most of the race and at the same time try to manage the tyre degradation, so it really took every ounce of concentration and energy. These problems lost us a lot of time and this put us into blue flags much sooner and for a much longer period of time, which then causes you to lose even more time and have to fight to make up what we could when we were in free air. With that in mind, I am pleased with my relative race pace under the circumstances. Now, in common with the rest of the pit lane, a well-deserved summer break is due for the Team so we can come back fighting in the second half of the season.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Given the pace deficit we saw yesterday in qualifying it was always going to be tough to make progress today. We knew we had to do something different on strategy but we didn’t expect to drop back as far as we did on the Medium tyre at the start of the race. The stints we were able to achieve today weren’t quite enough to complete our planned two-stop race and so in the end we had to move to a three-stop race, which doesn’t help the gaps shown on the timing sheet at the end. Overall a tough weekend and one we will want to move on from quickly. The next series of races coming up after the break will play to more of the strengths of our car and we will be pushing to ensure we learn every lesson we can from this race to come back from the break with renewed vigour. Finally I would like to thank the race team for their hard work in the heat today, we reacted well to the situations seen on track and the boys executed good pit stops, which was the most we could do.” (Marussia)