In today’s 2014 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix, the Marussia F1 Team delivered a strong two-car finish with Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton each keeping a Caterham at bay to the chequered flag, ending the race in 17th and 19th positions respectively.
The result marks Max’s 23rd finish in 23 races, a day before he celebrates his 23rd birthday. Further underlining a generally positive race, Max also recorded the fastest lap of the Marussia-Caterham battle.
Jules Bianchi #17: “I had a good fight with Kobayashi throughout the race and I’m very happy to be leaving China having finished ahead of him. This was my first straightforward race of the season so far and it is a big relief I have to say. The start was good and I got ahead of Kamui off the line but he regained position quite quickly. I stuck with him until the second stint when with Maldonado between us I dropped back a little but then I caught up again and we continued to enjoy a good battle. When he stopped for a third time for the option tyre we saw the opportunity to manage my tyres and stay out to get ahead. On new option tyres he was catching quite quickly and I had to work really hard to keep in front and not lose the place. Unfortunately, he caught me with only two corners left but in the end we keep the position, so I’m happy and have a good feeling with which to end the first long haul rounds of the season.”
Max Chilton #4: “It was a tough race but I’m pleased to have passed and kept Ericsson behind me and, of course, to secure my 23rd consecutive finish. The start went well – I got past a couple of cars actually – and the car felt good in that early stint. On the medium tyre I struggled a bit more with the balance and we changed the strategy, before changing back at the end when we pitted for a third time, basically to ensure that we were not going to be subject to a late charge by Ericsson on fresh rubber. A good race and a nice way to head into the start of the European season.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “A good result today with Jules leading home Kobayashi and Max finishing in front of Ericsson also. In reality, today we didn’t quite have the pace to match Kobayashi but an inspired strategy allowed us to stay ahead of him. It took some nerve on the pit wall and also very good tyre management and race craft from Jules to stay ahead. Max struggled a little more with the left front wear on the medium tyre than Jules but ultimately he was doing enough to be in front of Ericsson. However with the opportunity to still remain ahead of him with an extra stop at the end, we decided to put Max onto a three-stop strategy. It’s good to be leaving the flyaway races still in 10th and we have shown very good reliability in this early part of season. The focus for Barcelona and Monaco will be to introduce our new upgrades and really start to focus on performance.”
Claudio Albertini, Head of Customer Teams Power Unit Operations, Scuderia Ferrari: “It was a positive weekend in terms of reliability, which is always the necessary starting point to be able to do a better job of supporting the team. We introduced from this Grand Prix a package of improvements which provided the expected results but we know there is still much to be done in this area. Race after race also improves the integration of our group of engineers and mechanics with the team, which also produces the effects in terms of performance. We must all continue along this path.”