The Marussia-Ferrari team qualified in 19th and 20th for the Monaco Grand Prix, but Frenchman Jules Bianchi feels with a little bit of luck he could have squeezed into the second part of qualifying. He was on a better lap when he encountered yellow flags and traffic, and therefore was unable to improve on his time.
“It would have been tight to make it to Q2, but I think it was a possibility,” said Bianchi. “My first run was okay but the second one was compromised by the yellow flags and traffic and I lost around 0.5s, with no chance of improving. Looking at the positives though, we were 0.6s off the Saubers, so taking into account the lost time I am encouraged by our pace to them. We have been pretty close all weekend, so now we have to make it work in the race. I think we can have a good fight tomorrow and give a nice reward for the Team.”
Team-mate Max Chilton was playing catch up but finally found a set-up to his liking and ultimately qualfied 20th just behind his team-mate, but comfortably ahead of the two Caterham Renault’s of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.
“Compared to this morning’s FP3 session the car was a big improvement,” said Chilton. “I’m pretty pleased with how things went in qualifying to be honest. If we take all the intervening factors into consideration, I think we have a good car for tomorrow and we can be quite optimistic for the race.
“We’ve seen a few incidents today that are a reminder of how tricky this circuit can be, and with the potential for safety cars as well, there is every chance of an opportunity arising for us, so it’s important that we are ready to take advantage.”
Marussia Team Principal John Booth was disappointed the team did not get the opportunity to show their true potential in Monaco, but knows the race is long and anything can happen around the streets of the Principality.
“At the end of FP3 we felt quite happy with our pace and the gap to the front of the midfield group was very tight,” said Booth. “Into qualifying we revised Max’s set-up and it significantly improved the car for him. With Jules, unfortunately his second run was not productive due to the yellow flags and traffic, but this is Monaco!
“Overall, it is very disappointing that we didn’t get the chance to show our true potential in what is always the most important qualifying session of the year. Tomorrow will be a long and tough race for the Team and the drivers, however we will, as always, look to take any opportunities and hopefully have some fun racing with the guys in front.”