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Young Frenchman Charles Pic had the full weight of his team's expectations on his shoulders today as he lined up on the grid as the only Marussia F1 Team driver to compete in the race. He didn't disappoint.
His team-mate Timo Glock was flying home to Switzerland as the European Grand Prix got underway, after he was deemed too unwell to take part in today's race. The combined efforts of the team's race engineering resources were thrown behind Charles to ensure he could pull off the team's objective of displacing the HRTs and finishing with the Caterhams. After such a challenging weekend for the Marussia F1 Team, due to Timo's illness and the consequential loss of track time, this would be no easy task.
In what turned out to be an epic race all round for the spectators and the TV audience, Charles and the team worked in perfect harmony to make the strategy pay off and ensure he took De La Rosa on the track rather than in the pits. Not only that, he went on to achieve his best finish of his rookie season so far and crossed the line in 15th position.
Charles Pic: "Having not been so pleased with where I ended up in qualifying yesterday, by contrast I am very pleased with how things have gone for myself and the whole team in today's race. I think we got the most from our strategy and made everything work well in our favour. I am happy to see the improvement in our race pace and we are back in a better place versus the Caterhams ahead. I am also pleased that we were able to put the HRTs back behind us again and in that sense I had an enjoyable race to be able to do the job we needed to do here. I would like to thank the team for all the hard work over the weekend and especially today when we all pulled together to get the best possible result. It has been a frustrating time for everyone, but I think we can now look forward to the team's home race in two weeks with a little more confidence and with two cars back in play, hopefully push the improvements some more."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Charles did everything we could have asked of him today after carrying the weight of our expectations on his shoulders. He drove a very determined race to ensure we are back in a more comfortable position between the Caterham and HRT teams. That's not the 'end game' of course, but it's good to know we have turned the corner after Canada and we are heading back in the right direction. It was not an entirely straightforward race as we had the setback of Charles having to pit early for his first stop for a nose change after his front wing end plate was damaged. Nevertheless, we achieved the right outcome and that is the positive we will take away from here and use to motivate us for our home race, the British Grand Prix, in two weeks' time. We now have some work to do with our new aero package for Silverstone, where we look forward to having Timo back to full strength. He will have been bitterly disappointed to miss out on what was a more positive race performance for us today and also a great show across the field; we saw some fantastic racing here in Valencia this year."
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