Race - Austrian GP report: Marussia Ferrari
The Marussia F1 Team delivered against a challenging one-stop strategy today to achieve a solid two-car finish in the Formula 1 Grosser Preis von Österreich 2014. There wasn’t quite enough pace in the car to capitalise on the Team’s close proximity to the Saubers in recent races, but Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton ended today’s 71 lap race in 15th and 17th positions respectively, each displacing a Caterham. The Marussia F1 Team continues to hold ninth position in the 2014 Constructors’ Championship after eight rounds.
“It was not an easy race trying to make our one-stop strategy work, but we did and I am pretty happy with how we have finished. I got a good start and kept everyone behind me until it was not possible for me to keep pace with the Supersoft tyre Kobayashi was running to my Soft and he was able to get by. We just had to keep faith with the strategy though and run as long as possible on the prime, which, in the end was 40 laps. Everything worked out well because on the Supersoft I was able to catch him very quickly, overtake, and then pull away from him by some margin. Late in the race I was also closing the gap to Grosjean but unfortunately I ran out of time. Nonetheless, 15th is a good result and I am happy that we delivered a good Team performance today. It was a nice fight, just not the fight we had been hoping for, which was with the cars ahead. I hope we can find those extra tenths for our home race at Silverstone in two weeks’ time.”
“We had a very good strategy today which enabled me to keep Ericsson behind and in the latter stages of the race, close the gap to Kobayashi. I had a really good second stint but unfortunately we just ran out of laps as the gap came down to only 2s. Generally I’m pleased with 17th after starting at the back of the grid today. It has been a positive end to the weekend but we’ve grown used to being able to focus on the cars ahead, not behind, so we need to recover a bit of ground for the next race to get us back on track. The next round is our home race, for the Team and for me, so hopefully we’ll find a little bit more pace to get us back where we need to be.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“We leave Austria with mixed feelings after the race today. On the one hand, each car held off a Caterham. On the other hand, we didn’t quite have the pace when looking to the Sauber and Lotus cars in front. Both drivers held their nerve with our one-stop strategy; we had opted to start on the prime tyre in order to give us a clear first stint in terms of traffic. This paid off slightly better for Jules than Max, but obviously with Max starting from the back this was inevitable. In the last few laps, both cars got close to the cars immediately in front. With an extra lap, Jules could have had a good tussle with Grosjean and with the absence of a couple of blue flags for Max, he could have passed Kobayashi. We knew this track would be tough for our package, however both on the Marussia side and Scuderia Ferrari side we have worked to extract as much performance as we could. We hope this continues into Silverstone at what is maybe a slightly better circuit for our car.”
Claudio Albertini, Head of Customer Teams Power Unit Operations, Scuderia Ferrari
“It’s been a good weekend all in all, both in terms of the final result and the development of the partnership between Marussia and Scuderia Ferrari. From the point of view of reliability, we have not had major problems, which is especially important in light of the difficulties encountered during the previous Canadian Grand Prix. That said, we must always keep our eyes wide open on every detail, considering also that there is always room for improvement. Particular attention was paid at the beginning of the weekend the refinement of the parameters of the power management unit, since there were no recent benchmarks on this circuit. The next date on the calendar is Silverstone, a few miles from the headquarters of the team in Banbury. It would be nice to get a good result in their home race and we will do everything on our part to provide Jules and Max with the best situation for success.”