Formula 1

Jules Bianchi: “Maldonado just came from Nowhere and Hit Me”

3 Mins read

The Marussia F1 Team saw both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton finish the Hungarian Grand Prix, albeit down in fifteenth and sixteenth, but the team will head into the mid-season Summer break still holding ninth in the Constructors’ championship.

Bianchi was holding the fifteenth place in which he started when he was hit by the out of control Lotus of Pastor Maldonado after the Venezuelan understeered into the Marussia driver into turn one, damaging the car and resulting in a terrible balanced car. He was happy to see the end of the race, and thanked the team for a good first half of the season.

“That was a tough race for me because I had to drive for more than 50 laps with a damaged car with terrible balance problems,” said Bianchi. “Maldonado just came from nowhere and hit me in the side. I was really fearful it would put me out of the race and I knew it was a race that would present a lot of opportunities, for me and also our competitors.

“Although the Caterhams were not in the race for very long, the balance problems meant that I could not take the fight to the cars ahead, particularly the Saubers, who at one point were in a good position that might have threatened our championship placing. In the end, the dry conditions ensured the race ran more in competitive order and we ended the race holding onto 9th, which I am very happy about, obviously.

“It was a pretty exhausting race, having to fight the car for so long and not be able to lap quicker, but at least we got both cars to the finish and we end the first half of the season on a high note. My thanks to the whole Team and I wish everyone a very relaxing summer break, after which we will return stronger and hopefully finish the job we started in terms of beating Sauber on the track.”

Team-mate Chilton had a quiet race in comparison, and finished on the tail of Bianchi in sixteenth. He was happy to see the team retain their ninth place in the championship ahead of Sauber and Caterham, and is looking forward to the mid-season break to come back strongly for the second half of the year.

“I got a good start to the race and I was happy with the way the car was performing and that we managed to avoid any of the difficulties the retirees encountered,” said Chilton. “With [Kamui] Kobayashi and [Marcus] Ericsson out of the picture, and Jules having to make an unscheduled stop, it was good to be able to move up the field and then at the end have a good fight with Jules to the flag.

“I’m pleased for the Team that we have another two car finish and we’ve managed to hold on to our 9th place in the Constructors’ Championship, which is really important. Now we all deserve a good break so we can come back in Spa and have a good second half of the season.”

Team Principal John Booth was pleased to see both drivers finish and continue holding onto their ninth place in the championship after both Sauber and Caterham continued to miss out on points.

“A difficult start to the race with the downpour that happened as we were preparing to go to the grid, however it was fairly clear that the Intermediate tyres would be required for the race start,” said Booth. “It took a little longer than expected for the track to dry, but with the arrival of the safety car it was clear that we would have to stop for dry tyres at this point.

“Jules was running well at the back of the midfield pack when Maldonado hit him. Unfortunately, this effectively ended his ability to race in this position in the field, having sustained a significant amount of car damage, which cost him a lot of downforce. Max had a less eventful race doing well to avoid the incidents, of which there were plenty, and he made the best of his car in tricky conditions to follow Jules home.

“It’s good to end the first part of the season with a two-car finish. The Team have done a great job so far and hopefully the break will provide the respite we deserve to come back and fight even harder in the remaining eight races.”

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