Marussia: It is good to be starting ahead of the Caterhams

After some inconsistency with car balance over the course of the three Free Practice sessions, the Marussia F1 Team will start tomorrow’s 60 lap 2013 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix a car ahead of the two Caterhams, after Jules Bianchi qualified in 19th place. Max Chilton will line up a row behind his team-mate in 22nd place.

It was a slightly different story this morning in the third and final practice session at the Buddh International Circuit, when Jules was less happy with the balance and Max more positive about it, ending up ahead in P21.

Tomorrow looks set to be a challenging race for the whole grid but the times amongst the Marussia F1 Team and its immediate competitors are very close.

Jules Bianchi: “This morning I was not so happy with the car balance but we seem to be on top of it again and my qualifying was good. We have been very close [to] Caterham all weekend but I am pleased to finish ahead of them today. I think we look set for an interesting race tomorrow, so it is difficult to make any predictions, but obviously I would like to hold my starting position relative to them and maybe some opportunities may arise as well.”

Max Chilton: “It has been a difficult weekend with the car balance and at a circuit where you really need to be on top of that to push with confidence. This morning I was a little happier but in qualifying it didn’t work out as well. Having been closer to the group on my first run, I wasn’t able to improve enough on my second. I’m a little more confident in my race pace, so we will work hard overnight to see what we can do to optimise that.”

John Booth, Team Principal: “FP3 didn’t go quite as well as we had expected and some of the changes that we had made overnight following FP2 did not seem so positive. With the shortened final practice session we had to concentrate on collecting enough data, and giving the drivers a good feel for the car, rather than making lots of changes during the session. With Jules we made did make some reasonable changes going into qualifying, as he was the least happy of the two drivers, and these do seem to have worked out well for him. After his first run Max was happy with his car, however he wasn’t able to achieve the improvement anticipated from his second run. Jules expected a big challenge from van der Garde today, … in the end he came out on top. It is good to be starting the race ahead of the Caterhams but I’m sure up and down the field we are expecting an interesting time of it tomorrow.”

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