The return of the United States Grand Prix delivered on all its promise today at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, where the Marussia F1 Team achieved another two-car finish in 19th and 20th positions, maintaining its current 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.
For Timo Glock and Charles Pic it was a ‘bucking bronco’ of an opening lap.
Charles had contact on entry into the opening corner, which affected his whole race, while Timo had a tumultuous ride which nearly ‘unseated’ him twice and allowed Vitaly Petrov to sneak by in the process.
Despite slipping behind the KERS-advantaged competition, he kept pace with Heikki Kovalainen throughout the whole race, which yet again underpinned the positive strides the Team continues to make even at this late stage of the season.
Charles was unable to recover pace due to damage affecting the balance of his car.
Timo Glock: “Overall it was a strong race for us, even though we had been hoping for something more. The first lap was a bit all over the place; I lost the car twice.
Vitaly was able to overtake me because of that and at first it was a struggle to stay with him because of the KERS advantage. Then Heikki got past and it was the same story; struggling at first, but then closing back up to him.
I stayed with him from there and we decided to pit a little early to see if we could find a way past, but they pitted at the same time unfortunately.
Late in the race I was able to get past Heikki in Turn 12 but in Turn 15 he dived in again and retook position, pushing me off the track a bit.
Our race pace was very strong and this is just one of a few positives we take away from here, where we have made big steps again and of course we leave holding onto 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Our big picture remains very positive for us and we look forward to continuing to push hard in Brazil next weekend.
Finally I have to say we have had a great week here in Austin and the race team’s efforts have matched those back at the factory in enabling us to keep improving at this late stage of the season.”
Charles Pic: “It was a tough race today, I have to say. I had some contact into Turn 1 and after that I suffered with understeer throughout the whole race. We know now that the front wing was damaged.
It was very difficult to keep the temperature in the tyre in the second stint, with all the blue flags, and we lost some time because of that.
It is a little disappointing after the progress we have made here; after yesterday’s qualifying performance we were looking good for a strong race.
However, towards the end at least, I was able to recover a little bit and found enough pace for our fastest lap time, so this was a positive way to bring the race to a conclusion.
We will focus on the final Grand Prix of the season in Brazil now, but we have enjoyed the United States Grand Prix experience and the positive steps we have taken here. Well done to the team.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Although this was not necessarily the result we had hoped for today, ultimately we do have to be realistic in that, although our pace particularly towards the end of the race was good, the disadvantage that the lack of KERS brings meant that we were not in a position to make the most of our overtaking opportunities.
Timo drove a race worthy of his experience; he really piled the pressure on Kovalainan particularly during the last third of the race, overtaking him at one point in a good move in Turn 12, only to be pushed wide when Heikki tried to claim the position back in Turn 15.
Charles struggled a little on the Hard tyre, mainly because of the unfortunate position he was in with blue flags in his second stint. However, once free at the end, he was able to demonstrate good pace.
Onto Brazil now, where we will aim to maintain the momentum with our qualifying pace. Hopefully with a little more race pace we can keep ourselves ahead of the competition next time.
On behalf of the whole team, our congratulations to everyone who played a part in producing such a superb event here this weekend.
We have received an exceptionally warm welcome from the Texans, the track has produced some fascinating racing and the on- and off-track organisation has been second to none. We are already looking forward to returning next season.”
Marussia F1 Team