The Marussia F1 Team’s Italian Grand Prix weekend continued to exceed expectation in today’s 53-lap race, with Charles Pic and Timo Glock finishing in 16th and 17th positions respectively.
Both drivers had strong cars beneath them today and all the indications were that they were looking good for achieving the team’s target of displacing one of the cars of its immediate competitors.
Unfortunately for Timo, having lost his front wing end plate in the first lap melée, he started to lose aero performance and had to pit earlier than planned, which put him off-strategy for the balance of the race. Charles also had to switch strategy, from a planned one-stop race to two stops.
Charles Pic: “I am very happy with today’s race performance as it represents another significant step for the team. We came here expecting it to be a tough weekend for us; our car had not performed well in Montreal, which has similar aerodynamic characteristics.
We worked well through the various set-up options to arrive at a car that was actually very strong and which today put us even closer to the cars ahead when we were perhaps expecting not to be so competitive to them here.
This is a good sign. In the race it was not a bad start, but not great, so there is some work we can do in the last stage of the season to improve that and our prospects for the races. We have some more upgrades for Singapore so I hope they translate into more of this great progress we have been seeing.”
Timo Glock: “A bitter shame on my side really. The start itself was not great although I got through Turn 1 okay, but into Turn 2 there was a bit of a queue in front of me and Petrov moved to the outside, where I was. I couldn’t avoid him and he just clipped my front wing, which was damaged as a result.
From there I couldn’t really do much as we had lost a bit of performance and the car was just ‘okay’ to drive. Worse than that, as I stopped so early I was out of sequence. I had to stay out longer and had more degradation at the end as the stints were quite long for me.
Then blue flags cost us at the end. Overall I think we have to be quite pleased as we weren’t really running with the traditional Monza downforce specification. I’m now looking forward to Singapore - my favourite race.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “Overall, we’ve seen even further improvement today, however the race was not without its disappointments, as we were unable to finish in the positions that we had hoped for. Neither driver got the best of starts, however by the end of lap one we were in a position to challenge the cars directly ahead.
The pace of both cars was good initially, but unfortunately Timo had broken his front wing end plate during the first lap melée and had to pit for a new wing, which effectively ruined his race as he was well off the optimum strategy. Charles did a fantastic job to keep pace with our immediate competitors and our plan for him was to run a one stop race.
Unfortunately, we were limited by front tyre wear, despite having a good rate of rear degradation, and this resulted in us having to complete a two-stop race and lose what would have been track position to a Caterham.
Despite our steady progress, experiences such as this do still disappoint us, but we take great comfort and encouragement from seeing how well we have fared here, despite not running an optimum Monza downforce package.
We have achieved our target of ending the European section of the calendar on a positive note and we look forward to a very busy but exciting final phase of the season.
As we say goodbye to Monza I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the team, both trackside and back at base, for all their hard work and dedication to the task of improving both car and team performance. We really are coming into our own now and we can all take tremendous pride in what we are achieving at this stage in the season.”
Source: Marussia F1 Team