At the end of the final day of preparation for tomorrow’s 2014 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, the Marussia F1Team’s Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton qualified in 20th and 22nd positions respectively;
After a positive third Free Practice session, both drivers were hoping for a more competitive showing in the darkening conditions representative of those the Bahrain International Circuit will experience when it hosts its first night-race tomorrow evening,
Jules Bianchi #17: “The car balance was pretty good today. We lost some time on the straight – 0.3s – which I thought we had got on top of and ultimately this cost us getting ahead of Kobayashi. It’s something we need to look at as we need to get back in front of the Caterhams, not losing out to them. We will hope to recover a little bit of ground tomorrow but it will be tough.”
Max Chilton #4: “I’m a little bit disappointed after that Qualifying session, as I thought we had done enough to edge a bit closer to Q2. When everything comes together we aren’t that far away and if you look at the overall spread of times we have made some progress. We didn’t achieve everything we could today, but having said that, I think tomorrow we’ll have a better showing.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Although the mood in the team after Qualifying was a little downbeat, given our final positions, we can at least say that this weekend we have been closest to the midpoint of Q2 than we have previously seen in dry conditions. Things around us are much tighter and a matter of a few tenths is now making a significant difference to grid position, and ultimately, whether or not you take part in Q2. We came into this weekend off the back of a tough time in Sepang but it is fair to say that we have improved the car. The drivers are happier with the overall balance and it now feels that we are able to start to focus more on the setup of the car going forward. In this respect the test next week is a big opportunity to improve the pace of the car, which should help in Qualifying. Prior to that we have a race to focus on and, ultimately, given the narrow pace spread between the cars, it will be a tight race, so we will have to ensure we get everything out of the car tomorrow.”
Subbed by AJN.