The Marussia drivers of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton have been left disappointing after qualifying 21st and 22nd for the Italian Grand Prix. Both drivers struggled throughout the first qualifying session but they are hopeful of taking the challenge to the Caterham’s on Sunday.
Bianchi managed to out-qualify Chilton but battled balance issues in qualifying after running out of time in third practice. He said in a team statement: “Unfortunately we just ran out of time to keep working on striking a good car balance here. It is clear that I am fighting the car a little and losing time because of this, but I am more hopeful that we will be slightly better off in terms of race pace tomorrow.”
He added: “Quite disappointing, as this is such a fantastic circuit and one I feel is particularly special to me, but all we can do is our best tomorrow and hope that some chances come our way.”
Team-mate Max Chilton was having a better run in Monza but a fuelling issue meant that he couldn’t close the gap to Bianchi. Speaking about his qualifying session he said: “After such a positive start yesterday, I was hoping for a better result today, so it’s a little disappointing and frustrating to have fallen back a bit. I do take some comfort though in the fact that much of that can be attributed to a fuelling issue, which we only discovered at the end of qualifying. 19.5kgs will have made all the difference today and it is easy to do the maths and gauge the impact that has had relative to the cars directly ahead on the grid tomorrow.
The Brit feels that the car is stronger in race trim: “So I will take some encouragement from that and the fact that our race pace yesterday did look slightly more promising. We will have our work cut out tomorrow for sure, given where we are now starting, but we will do everything possible to recover some ground.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic