The Marussia-Ferrari team arrive in Sakhir having fallen to the bottom of the Constructors’ championship, after both Lotus and Caterham leapfrogged them in Malaysia. Jules Bianchi was unfortunately forced to retire early in Sepang, and although Max Chilton finished, he was fourteenth, behind Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and both Caterham’s of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.
Marussia Team Principal John Booth is hoping Bahrain offers his team the chance to redeem themselves after the disappointment in Malaysia last weekend. He also spoke about the different challenges the team face in the desert of Bahrain.
“We head pretty much straight into the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend with the motivation and determination to achieve a better result here than at our last event,” said Booth. “Some of that will require rather more luck than we experienced in the race in Malaysia and some will hopefully be the product of a thorough examination of where we lost out performance-wise last weekend.
“We always enjoy a night race as it certainly adds to the spectacle and provides an extra dimension for the TV audience. For 2014 this race presents a rather different challenge. I am sure the heat, the wind and the sand will continue to be factors but these will be less of a known quantity by virtue of the revised running schedule. It is the later timing that will make the recent testing work completed here all the more valuable.”
Jules Bianchi is hoping his season can turn around after two disappointments in Australia and Malaysia. Although he saw the chequered flag in Australia, he was eight laps down and unclassified as a finisher, and only completed eight laps in Malaysia before he was forced to retire with a braking issue.
“This has not been the best start to the season for me and I am hoping that Bahrain will be a case of ‘third time lucky’,” said Frenchman Bianchi. “Malaysia was disappointing for me but there is no point dwelling on what has passed because we need to have the focus on the next race, which is what I have been doing.
“We are perhaps better prepared here because of the work we did in pre-season testing, so we have to take that as a positive, and I am looking forward to the first night race to be held here. I really enjoy the flow of this track and I think its characteristics will help us at this early stage of the season when we are still learning a lot from the new package and how to get the best out of it.”
Bianchi’s British Team-mate Max Chilton kept up his 100% finishing record in Formula 1 in Malaysia last weekend with the Brit yet to retire from any grand prix since his debut in Australia at the beginning of the 2013 season. Chilton arrives at a track he likes hoping to make progress and aims to help move Marussia off the bottom of the championship standings.
“On the one hand, this weekend is quite a quick turnaround for the Team, but at least we are returning to a track we visited only recently in pre-season testing, so we have a good engineering basis for the week ahead,” said Chilton. “I like Sakhir, so it will be interesting to race here in the different conditions presented by a night race; I do like a challenging race, but it would be good to achieve a better outcome this weekend.
“As ever, you learn a lot from the races that are most difficult, so I hope we can take the lessons from Malaysia and use them to improve here. They will be small steps but in the right direction.”