Marussia was left celebrating on Saturday evening after both cars progressed through to Q2 for the first time.
An inspired tyre choice in a drying Q1 meant that both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton made it beyond the first knockout session for the first time.
Dry conditions returned for Q2, meaning that Bianchi and Chilton regressed but will still start from fifteenth and sixteenth.
“Today is a fantastic result for the Team, who were so happy to be back in Q2,” said Bianchi.
“This was a nice feeling for everybody, including myself, as this was also the first Q2 of my F1 career. Things have been steadily improving for us over the weekend and I’m really happy that all the hard work paid off for us today. This result was not about luck because everyone was faced with the same dilemma at the end of the Q1 session; whether it might be too dry for the Intermediate tyre or too wet for slicks.”
“On the first lap on the final run it was hard to make up my mind what to do; only the drivers could see what the track condition was really like and it was different from corner to corner. By the end of the lap I had decided just to go for it and stay on the Medium tyre and that gamble was exactly the right call. Tomorrow we line up on the seventh row, which will be a nice moment, but of course we don’t really know what the weather will bring. We have everything to gain and we will make the most of every opportunity.”
“What a great day for everyone!,” added Chilton.
“Together with Jules I’m so pleased to help put the Team into Q2 again. It was such a tricky qualifying, and as we can see from the classification, it’s difficult to make the right calls at a track where the lap is so long that the conditions are so different from corner to corner. When we switched to the dry tyre for the final run I was worried we may have made the wrong call and might have to switch back to the Intermediate but I also knew the track was drying quickly and we could easily make another wrong call by changing back.”
“The engineers put the decision in my hands and I was undecided until the final corner, when I just made a judgment call in an instant and opted to stay out. I’m happy to say it was the right call and we went on to enjoy a strong Q2, when my time was pretty pleasing given that on my final run I was fuelled for two timed laps. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race now, rain or shine.”