It was a disappointing weekend at Monza for the Marussia F1 Team, with Jules Bianchi finishing eighteenth behind the Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi, while Max Chilton crashed out on lap five.
Bianchi and Kobayashi were involved in a race-long battle, but the Frenchman was disappointed to end the race behind the Japanese driver. He admitted the Marussia was just not fast enough in a straight-line, and is hopeful for a better weekend in the night race in Singapore.
“It was a really tough race for us today but I did everything the Team asked of me and nothing more was possible,” said Bianchi. “In the end, we struggled a little with the speed on the straights and we were not able to improve further.
“Across the whole team we know the areas we need to improve on and everyone is pushing hard to get the most from the package. For now, we just have to put the disappointment this weekend behind us and look ahead to Singapore and a track that is much better suited to our car.”
Team-mate Chilton retired for only the second time in his Formula 1 career, crashing out at the second chicane after running wide and hitting the kerbs. He was disappointed as he had just passed the Lotus of Romain Grosjean for position, but is hoping for better in two weeks time in Singapore.
“A disappointing premature end to the race for me,” said Chilton. “Unfortunately it was my mistake; I braked slightly too late and wasn’t able to get round the corner. I hit the sausage kerbs at turn 4, which unexpectedly launched me into the air and I came down hard and ended up in the gravel. It was all the more disappointing as I had just retaken position from Grosjean.
“We had managed our expectations for this weekend because we knew it would be a challenging track for us and so it has been a frustrating day for us all round. There isn’t much to say beyond putting a difficult race behind us and looking forward to better things in Singapore.”
Team Principal John Booth knew Monza was going to be one of the least competitive weekends of the season for Marussia due to the lack of straight-line speed, but felt the team did as good a job as possible. He reflected on Chilton’s early retirement and on Bianchi’s eighteenth place finish, and hopes there are better weekends to come for the team in the remaining six races.
“A tough day for the Team and on the back of yesterday’s qualifying result, overall it has not the best weekend we have experienced this year,” said Booth. “Max’s race ended fairly early on with a rare mistake at Turn 4. With Jules we followed the fairly conventional one-stop strategy, as was adopted by the majority of teams, and with this there was not much else we could do in order to try and help move him up.
“Coming into Monza we weren’t particularly confident that we would have a strong weekend, however the pace up until qualifying looked encouraging, although it is clear that the race pace was more in line with our prior expectations. The car has not been particularly unbalanced and nor have we suffered with any stability problems this weekend, so at least we can be confident going into Singapore that we have a car we can build on there and with that type of track we are hopeful of a much better weekend.”