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Timo Glock and Charles Pic provided some great racing spectacle in today's Belgian Grand Prix, which demonstrated that the latest round of developments from the Marussia F1 Team have moved the team forward again.
Despite running to different strategies -Timo switched to a two-stop early in the race, while Charles remained on one - they ended the race neck and neck, notwithstanding Charles' tyre degradation. Timo eventually got the upper hand and led the team home in P15 from Charles in P16 but the great display of two natural born racers which seemed to capture the imagination of the viewing audience served to further underline the progress that will be borne out by today's timesheets.
Timo Glock: "Not only was it great to be back racing here after the break, but it was great to be really 'racing' again after some very positive steps forward for the team. Not only have we brought some strong updates to the car, the team have worked really hard to get on top of the problem I experienced in the last few races and here it looked positive. This is in itself another demonstration of how we are working together to bring the right results. We didn't get off to the smoothest of starts on Friday, but by Saturday morning we were showing our potential. We knew we could be stronger in the race and we were; we could have been stronger still but for the problem with Maldonado which lost me time earlier in the race and created a bigger gap to Petrov at the end than might otherwise have been the case. I am very proud that we have worked so hard together as a team to see the benefits we are now seeing and my thanks to everyone trackside and back at base. We are really taking the fight to the competition now and I enjoyed a great race today. Things can only get better for us and today I am very happy to be P15."
Charles Pic: "We didn't get the best start again and then I was stuck behind de la Rosa for quite a while, which lost me a lot of time. We chose a one-stop strategy which for the most part worked well for us, but I was really struggling with the degradation at the end and being on older tyres Timo not only got by but I also lost time to him. I have been very pleased with the progress we have made for this race and my thanks to the team for their efforts. We still have to keep moving in this direction to get us to a point where we can finish ahead of all our nearest competitors, but we had some great racing in the team today and this at least showed that we are doing a very positive job as a team. I look forward to Monza now."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We predicted we would be stronger in the race versus qualifying and that was indeed the case today. For large portions of the race, the substantial upgrade we introduced here allowed our drivers to match the pace of our immediate competitors, so we can be pleased overall that the margins are reducing and also we only saw a few blue flags and quite late on in the race. These incremental upgrades will bring the additional pace that will significantly aid our ability to race on the lead lap and minimise our blue flag time loss towards the end of the race.
"The extremely eventful opening lap made life a little difficult for us with both of our cars having to pick their way through the huge amount of debris in turn one, which had brought out the safety car. Then, the incident between Maldonado and Timo left him right at the back of the field behind the HRTs, which was less than ideal in terms of our objective of taking the fight to Caterham after the safety car restart. We opted to switch Timo to a two-stop strategy to allow him the free air he needed to achieve our pace potential in the middle stint in order to close the gap. This worked well and Timo did a great job to respond to the switch. We put Charles on a more conservative one-stop strategy and this led to the two drivers being particularly close at the end of the race. Charles was on older tyres and Timo was able to get past in the final few laps but by this stage, despite his pace, the gap created as a consequence of earlier incidents meant there was no hope of him catching up to Petrov. We have shown another legitimate step with our upgrades, thanks to the hard work by the team back in Banbury and also our partners at Cosworth. I'm sure this will give everyone a huge boost going into Monza and with a full Friday of practice running to fine-tune our package I'm sure we can continue to see more of this steady progression forward."
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