The Marussia F1 Team experienced mixed fortunes at Albert Park today in the first qualifying session of the new season.
The Team had encountered further electronics issues earlier in the day during Free Practice 3, and took preventative measures to try to eradicate the problem for qualifying.
On his first run, Max Chilton delivered a solid lap good for 17th position, with a time of 1:34.293.
On Jules Bianchi’s side of the garage the changes made were not entirely successful and sensor problems required him to have to modify some settings throughout his quick lap. He ended the day 18th with a time of 1:34.794.
Unfortunately the threatening dark skies gave way to rain, which meant that any attempt at a second run would have been futile and the two drivers were left unable to improve on their opening runs.
Max Chilton #4:
“I was really pleased with my lap on the opening run and felt that a few issues from FP3 had really come together. Bar one small mistake it was a clean lap. There was more to come of course but I’m reasonably happy given all the factors that we’ve experienced. It would have been nice to improve as we were close to Q2 but the weather intervened, so this is where we will start the race and that is what we have to focus on now. I think tomorrow is going to be a really exciting day for Formula 1 and the fans, and I can’t wait to see who will end up where – especially our team!”
Jules Bianchi #17:
“After all the hard work from everybody this weekend, it is disappointing that we experienced an issue in qualifying which meant that I could not get the most from the car. Unfortunately we have experienced a few electronics problems again today and we thought we were on top of these, but they appeared again just as I was starting my first quick lap and that was occupied by the need to change some settings to ensure the car stayed reliable and then I had a problem with the gearbox. Then the rain came, which was really bad timing and we couldn’t get out again to try to improve. Still, I think there will be a lot of opportunities in the race tomorrow and we have to be focused to make the best of them.”
John Booth, Team Principal:
“We knew this would be a challenging day but it would have been nice to see and show more of our performance level. On Max’s side he had a trouble-free first run and got a good clean lap. For Jules, a continuation of an electronics issue which compromised his run. We were lucky to escape a rain shower at the start of the session but it caught up with us eventually and we were unable to get out again and improve. We’re not too disheartened though. We are still a long way from optimising the car and there are more positive times to come. As for tomorrow, there’s a definite sense that we just don’t know what the race will bring, so we remain optimistic and we will see what opportunities present themselves.”