By Phillip Horton on Sunday, March 17, 2013
Marussia rookies Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton expressed their happiness after they both finished the Australian Grand Prix.
Bianchi completed the race in fifteenth place while Chilton came across the line in seventeenth.
“I am very happy with my race today and really can’t imagine a better start to my first season of F1,” said Bianchi. “Generally everything went very smoothly in the race and we worked our way through the tyre management issues as well as we could in order to maximise the possibilities.”
Chilton said that contact with Giedo van der Garde hindered his progress.
“I am happy with my Formula 1 debut and although it was less than straightforward, it’s good to get it under my belt and to know where we stand relative to the competition,” he said. “The coming-together with Van der Garde early in the race damaged my front wing, which meant I had to stop for a wing change. This put me back out on track such that I hit the blue flag period and it was a bit of a battle to recover the ground I lost. I had a really good fight with Van der Garde and closed the gap enough to be able to pass him. From there I was able to demonstrate more of my true pace and I was posting laps around three seconds faster than him.”
Team principal John Booth says he is pleased with Marussia’s progress.
“Generally we are pleased with our debut race with the MR02 and happy that the positive signs from pre-season testing were an accurate reflection of the true performance level of our early package.”
“Jules drove a fantastic race and quickly left the Caterhams in his wake to focus on the midfield pack in front. We had started on the Supersoft tyre and perhaps underestimated how quickly the degradation would come on these tyres, so we made a very early swap onto the Mediums which enabled Jules to get back into contention. Unfortunately, by this stage, there was a reasonable gap to the Williams in front and Jules did a good job to gradually eat into that. The rest of his race was really based around stopping when the rate of tyre degradation got too high.”
“We should certainly never underestimate the midfield teams, however I think we’ve shown today that they are realistically within striking distance.”