The Marussia F1 Team came into the Singapore Grand Prix weekend with high expectations for its drivers Timo Glock and Charles Pic. Timo simply loves to race here, while Charles Pic - racing in night-time conditions for the very first time - was relishing the prospect of doing battle at one of his most challenging new tracks yet.
Throughout the weekend, Timo has been lapping up the Marina Bay Street Circuit and Charles really got to grips with the unique racing conditions it presents, but not even the team expected the race outcome it enjoyed today. Timo finished in 12th position, an achievement in itself, but crucially this earns back for the team that all-important 10th place in the Constructors' Championship which is so crucial for the three newer teams.
Charles brought his MR01 home in P15 to help the team to another crucial two-car finish. He dropped to P16 in the results after his 20 second penalty was applied.
Today's race cements the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the affections of the team and, with the confirmation this weekend that the circuit has renewed its contract until at least 2017, leaves them wanting much more of Singapore.
Timo Glock: "An incredible race for us. In general I knew that, with our strategy, we could really do something if we stayed close to Kovalainen in the first stint and that's what I tried to do - to get everything out of the car. Unfortunately, the rear tyre pressures came up a bit too much and I overshot the car in turn 19 and hit the wall. In the first moment I thought the race was over and I realised that the toe was really out; I had to change my driving style and, actually, changed everything that I could do to keep the car on track. I had to get used to the behaviour of the car, so I was saving the right-rear tyre in all the left-hand corners and squeezing everything out in the right corners to get the lap time. When the safety cars came out I knew that mixing us in the pack gave us a chance to fight again. After the first safety car I could go quicker than Heikki and in the end, when he turned into the pits, I knew I needed to push everything out of the car before he came back at me with fresh tyres. In terms of the pit stops, the team made a really good job and that is getting very consistent now. We do of course need to hold on to 10th place until the end of the season still and I hope we can. Over the last four months we have really closed that gap to Caterham and this is a very nice reward to everyone in the team because it has not been easy. We'll enjoy the moment but keep pushing now for the next race and beyond."
Charles Pic: "First of all I have to say well done to the whole team. Today's team result is very important for everyone and it is a very nice reward for all the incredible hard work at the track and back at the factory this year. For me, I am happy with my race, finishing in P15 but dropping to P16 with the 20 seconds added. The plan had been to do a two-stop race with two long stints on the Soft tyre, but with the safety cars that didn't work out. We were obliged to make a very long last stint with the Supersoft and we had big degradation because of that. Overall, it has been a strong weekend and I am pleased with my performance from FP1 to Qualifying at what has perhaps been the more challenging of the new tracks I have tackled for the first time this season. And there are a few more yet to come! Overall though, racing here in Singapore has been an incredible experience and one I look forward to repeating."
John Booth, Team Principal: "That was an extremely complicated race with many different variables, ranging from high tyre degradation to numerous safety car periods and, also in the mix, a scrape along the wall on lap 7 that could have changed everything completely. In terms of the result, we're extremely pleased with Timo's 12th place, but Charles' performance in the race, prior to the addition of his penalty, also demonstrated that even with the two drivers on different strategies today, the team had the measure of the race for 10th place in the championship. That is an important race for the three newest teams.
"With regard to the detail, Timo's overall race was executed perfectly. Unfortunately he hit the right rear on the wall at turn 19 very early on, which put us off-strategy as we brought him in earlier to check the right-rear suspension. All looked fine and he carried on, however we decided to revert to what would have been a three-stop race. In the end the safety cars reduced us to a two-stop race, although this required us to hold our nerve as ultimately the final stint was 34 laps long. Charles delivered another solid performance in tough conditions. His strategy, using the safety cars, was good. Overall, this has been a day where, with everything thrown at them, the engineers and mechanics executed everything perfectly. Really though, the improvement in the raw pace of the car has come from all the hard work that has been undertaken in Banbury and by our engine partner Cosworth in Northampton."
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