The Marussia F1 Team maintained their ninth place in the constructors championship in Singapore, but both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton ended the day finishing behind Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham. The team are hopeful of better results in Japan this weekend, with both the Frenchman and the Briton in high spirits as they arrive at Suzuka.
Bianchi is looking to have a better race in Japan this season after ending his day at the first corner after a collision with the Caterham of Giedo van der Garde, but feels the Japanese circuit is a special place to race.
“I really enjoyed my first experience of Suzuka last year, but it was a less than straightforward weekend, so I’m hoping for better things this time around,” said Bianchi. “The race itself was short-lived, as I was hit from behind on the opening lap, so I’m really looking forward to the race here.
“Suzuka is a great track; a big test of car and driver and some of the corners here are fantastic. I think we all remember seeing some really incredible racing here, especially in the Prost-Senna era, so it is a very special place, made all the more so by the fans, who are always very excited and passionate about the sport.”
Team-mate Chilton also feels the Suzuka circuit is one of the highlights of the season, and feels ready to continue the fight with the Caterham team this weekend. Despite finishing behind Ericsson in Singapore, Chilton feels confident he can have a good weekend in Japan this weekend.
“It’s great to come back to Japan,” insisted Chilton. “I love everything about the country, although with the back to back with Sochi I won’t get to see as much of it this year. Suzuka is a fantastic track, one of the highlights of the calendar. It’s such a technical circuit and it has an enormous amount of history attached to it. I’ve watched some great battles here over the years.
“I had a good weekend in Singapore, so I feel really fired up for this race and hopefully another good fight with Caterham. With only five races remaining, it’s important that we make each one count to ensure we maintain our current hold on 9th in the Constructors’ Championship. In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to seeing the Japanese fans again; they’re an awesome crowd.”
Briton Will Stevens has been rumoured to get an outing in the first free practice session this weekend, with the Formula Renault 3.5 Series race winner having left Caterham to join their bitter rivals Marussia. Stevens had tested for Caterham as recently as the post-Silverstone test, and had been an integral part of the development and simulator programme at the Leafield team.
It is another blow to the ailing Caterham team, but Stevens’ apparent defection to Marussia means that both of the original Caterham Junior drivers have now switched allegiances to Marussia, with Alexander Rossi having already moved to the Banbury team mid-season.