The Marussia F1 Team not only achieved its primary objective of a two-car finish in Bahrain today, but at the same time won back 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
Max Chilton took the chequered flag in 13th place after a strong and focused race, where he delivered everything required of him in terms of race management.
There were contrasting fortunes between Max and his team-mate Jules Bianchi however. The luck that the Frenchman so badly needed evaded him once again and he could achieve no more than 16th place after nursing a damaged car for much of the race following a 13th lap coming-together with Adrian Sutil.
There was a fabulous sense of occasion for the 10th anniversary of the Bahrain Grand Prix as the Bahrain International Circuit hosted its first night race under an impressive new floodlight system. A fantastic build-up gave way to a spectacular 57-lap show that was full of action and close racing, in which Max was able to enjoy a good fight with the Caterhams and one in which he ultimately triumphed.
Max Chilton #4: “Yesterday’s qualifying didn’t go so well but I knew today’s race was going to be a lot closer. I didn’t get a very good start but through the course of the race I managed the tyres well, while still having a good race with the Caterhams. The safety car helped us out as I don’t think we had to fuel save as much as the others, once we had unlapped ourselves. All in all it’s great to be leaving Bahrain with 13th place and having finished every single race of my F1 career so far – 22 out of 22 now! Most important of all, it’s a nice feeling to have helped us back into 10th position in the Constructors’ Championship standings. Bring on China!”
Jules Bianchi #17: “I’m really disappointed after another tough race for me; the third one in a row. I got a good start and made up three places by the end of the first lap and I was having a really good first stint, enjoying a good race with Sutil. I had the chance to get ahead of him and I was slightly ahead going into turn 1, but he turned in on me and crashed into me, which punctured my left rear. I pitted but after that the car never felt the same and we can see now that the floor was damaged, which resulted in a loss of downforce and made the car difficult to drive for the rest of the race.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “After a disappointing outing in Malaysia last weekend, where unfortunately we allowed 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship to slip through our grasp, it’s fantastic to regain the position again so quickly. Our performance today was no accident; it was the product of a lot of hard work by the factory in a very short space of time, coupled with the efforts of the trackside crew. Max had a tough start to the race and was stuck behind Ericsson for several laps but we reoptimised his ERS, which enabled him to overtake the Caterham. As a result of Kobayashi emerging just in front of Max after his second pitstop, at this point we opted to switch Max to a two-stop strategy to run to the end. The late safety car enabled us to put Max onto a fresh set of option tyres and he was able to pass Kobayashi at the restart. From there he comfortably pulled away and was able to stay in front of Maldonado, whilst also managing his fuel to the end of the race. Jules enjoyed a fantastic start to the race and after his first pitstop he was in a good battle with the Sauber of Sutil in which he was clearly quicker and trying to overtake. What happened next was unfortunate and that was effectively the end of Jules’ ability to race, however the fact that he was able to make it to the chequered flag gives him his first classified finish and provides the Team with more valuable data. We’ve made a lot of progress this weekend and the test will give us the chance to improve the car further.”
Claudio Albertini, Head of Customer Teams Power Unit Operations, Scuderia Ferrari
“All in all a good weekend, which saw the Marussia team get back the tenth place in the Constructors Championship thanks to the thirteenth place earned by Max. Even Jules has finally managed to get the first finish of the season, although his race was ruined by the accident with Sutil. It was a shame, because there was the potential for an even better result. From a reliability standpoint, this Grand Prix marked a new step forward because we were able to allow Marussia to work with greater continuity. Progress has also been made on the research of the best performance of the power unit, reflecting the growing level of integration between the two working groups. In this regard, there will be two very useful days of tests that await us next week here at Sakhir, when it will be possible to explore some issues and try to prepare together in the best way in the next few races.”