The Marussia F1 Team's Charles Pic leaves the Buddh International Circuit this evening 'delighted' with what turned out to be a very strong Indian Grand Prix for the Frenchman. He put a frustrating qualifying result to one side and set his sights firmly on the race, putting down his first marker in Turn 1 when he displaced no fewer than five cars in the first corner melee, including the Caterham of Vitaly Petrov.
Unable to hold off the advancing KERS-powered competition, he was forced to acquiesce, but he kept in touch with them for the whole race, notwithstanding the fact that the Team, like many others today, experienced very high fuel consumption which prevented both drivers from pushing to the max. Charles delivered some impressive sector and lap times throughout the race. In S2 he was consistently quicker than the cars ahead and competitive in S3, further demonstrating how adept the Team have become at improving overall lap time to compensate for the KERS deficit presented by the long straights of the last two races.
Timo had a tough race, which was compromised with effect from the first corner incident. He struggled with the tyres later in the first stint because of this and had to contend with too many blue flags to be able to recover.
Charles Pic: "It was a great race for me, especially after a disappointing qualifying yesterday. We didn't get the chance to show our pace then, but we did today and I am very happy for that. I got a very good start and made up five places at Turn 1 and for the first lap, getting ahead of Petrov. They have the advantage of KERS though, so it wasn't long before he was able to pass, but for the rest of the race we stayed with the Caterhams and as the race played out I was catching up to Kovalainen. In the last few laps we were constantly having to back off for the blue flags, which lost us time and meant that we were unable to show that we could catch Heikki, but for sure the pace is there. A great stop by the crew today and very good work by the engineers and mechanics all weekend, especially to help us reverse our fortunes after qualifying. I am very happy and looking forward to continuing this in Abu Dhabi next weekend, where I will be back at a circuit I know well and where it all went so well for me in the Young Driver Test last year. I am hoping for another positive outcome there."
Timo Glock: "It was a very strange race for me today. I was in the wrong place at Turn 1 and lost a couple of positions to HRT. Then I was stuck behind Petrov for quite a lot of laps and by that time the other guys were all gone. Generally though I struggled with the pace today; on Friday the car felt much better on the long runs. I also suffered quite a lot of vibration on my front right tyre, especially in S2, and from 25 laps in I had too many blue flags to contend with. The same at the end. Because of this you just lose more and more time and it is impossible to recover. I'm looking forward to Abu Dhabi though and what I hope will be a better race for us."
John Booth, Team Principal: "A fantastic job by Charles today to reverse his fortunes following a frustrating qualifying result. He had the measure of all the cars affected by the first corner incident and he was able to get ahead of Petrov and hold a gap to him for quite some time. Unfortunately we were 'out-KERS'd' and Charles was unable to hold station for long. Nonetheless, once Petrov got past, Charles kept pace with the Caterhams and were it not for the last few blue flags he would have finished within 5.0s of Heikki. As was the case with a few other cars today, we were caught out by increased fuel consumption in the race and this did limit our ability to push.
"Timo had a less than optimum day sadly. The first corner incident hurt his race significantly and as a consequence he was stuck behind the HRTs for quite a while. He did a good job to clear them as soon as possible, however the time spent trying to pass them didn't help his first stint tyres as the race progressed, given that we were running to a one-stop strategy. We also had an issue with the rear jack in his pitstop and unfortunately this compromised him further; when he rejoined the track he went straight into a significant blue flag spell. We haven't had a perfect weekend by any means and yet we take some comfort from the fact that we have still been able to achieve our objective of staying in touch with the competition. It's another back-to-back situation now and as we head to the Middle East our focus will be firmly on achieving a more typically slick weekend so we can reveal more of our true potential versus the cars ahead."
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