Jules Bianchi ended the Spanish Grand Prix with mixed emotions for Marussia, in what was a race plagued with issues which prevented the Banbury-based outfit from excelling towards the back of the pack. After damaging his front-wing at the start, Jules Bianchi was on the back foot for the majority of the race.
After a tough qualifying performance for Marussia, which saw the outfit struggle with ongoing balance issues with the MR-02, the 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix failed to provide the team much to smile about after both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton suffered minor issues throughout the race. Whereas the Frenchman damaged his front-wing at the start, Max Chilton suffered a disastrous start at the back, before then enduring an issue during one of his three pit-stops.
These frustrating issues prevented either of Marussia’s drivers from battling with the Caterham of Charles Pic, who eventually finished ahead of the Banbury-based duo in 17th position whereas team-mate Giedo van der Garde retired in peculiar circumstances. Jules Bianchi felt he achieved little during the race, despite pushing extremely hard throughout the latter stages to try and catch Charles Pic. The Frenchman is also adamant that he could have battled not only with the Caterham of Charles Pic but also with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas had he not been forced to pit for a new front-wing after the opening lap.
“I feel like I drove a really hard race today but there is not so much to show for it.” Explained a slightly disappointed Jules Bianchi, “I am obviously pleased to have had three strong middle stints but the damage was done in the opening few laps when I had to pit for a new nose. I think we recovered well from this and had we not had the extra stop we could have been fighting with Bottas today. Our lap time was much faster than theirs and I managed to get the gap down to eight seconds in the final stint, but pushing so hard stretched the tyres too much and I had to back off to just focus on getting the car home.”
The next race around the glamourous streets of Monte-Carlo will see a renewed importance on grid position during qualifying. For the last two races Marussia has struggled to out-qualify Caterham, and with passing so tough around the Principality the Banbury-based outfit will understandably be hoping that their balance issues can be resolved in the two-week gap until the Monaco Grand Prix.
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