Sunday, 25 May 2014

Magical moment for Marussia in Monaco

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(Marussia F1 Team via Twitter)

The Monaco Grand Prix turned out to be a fantastic race for the Marussia F1 Team as the Banbury based outfit scored their first ever point's in Formula One as Jule Bianchi finished the race in 9th place just behind the Lotus F1 Team's Romain Grosjean and just ahead of McLaren's Kevin Magnussen.

Marussia entered Formula One as Virgin Racing in 2010 along with the Hispania Racing Team and the then Lotus (now Caterham F1 Team). In 2012, the Banbury based outfit were bought by the Russian Marussia Motors car company and renamed Marussia F1 Team however now Marussia Motors are no longer involved in the ownership of the Formula One team.

Jules Bianchi did a fantastic job today as the Frenchman started today's race from 21st on the grid and was in 8th place when he was handed a five second penalty for lining up in the wrong grid slot for the race start. The Frenchman was then given a five second post race penalty for serving his five second penalty in the pit-lane during the first safety car period.

The Banbury based squad have now moved up the order in the Constructors championship to 9th place after Bianchi's finish. 

The Frenchman has now moved up to 16th place in Drivers championship just 2 point's behind the Toro Rosso duo of Jean Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat. Speaking after the race, Bianchi said:

“Wow. What a race and what a result for the whole Team. I am just incredibly happy, but first of all I have to pay credit to everyone at the Marussia F1 Team for making this possible. Nobody knows just how much work and determination goes into our races, so today I am thrilled that I have helped them to achieve their long-held target of our first points. To achieve them together makes me very proud. My thanks to everyone here in Monaco, the rest of the Team in Banbury and also to our powertrain partners, Scuderia Ferrari, because together we have all made great progress, particularly since the Barcelona Test. This gave us the confidence to push and we certainly did that here this weekend. It was not an easy race; there were some enjoyable highs along the way, but also a couple of concerning moments too. What matters at the end is that we got there and we can savour the highlights for a long time to come. I would also like to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy, who support me every step of my career.”

Marussia F1 Team boss John Booth was overjoyed by the result and stated:

“Naturally we are overjoyed at today’s result and it is a fantastic reward for all the hard work and determination, not just this year, but over the past four and a bit seasons. My congratulations to the team here in Monaco, back at base in Banbury and our much newer colleagues at Scuderia Ferrari. Our powertrain partnership is young, but we saw the potential right from the start of the relationship and we are now really starting to see the results of a true integration. A lot of this weekend’s clear step stems from the progress we made at the recent Barcelona Test. We were cautiously optimistic about our performance increment, but we really needed to see it translate into a good race here in Monaco before we could feel too confident. We are only a young team, but we have every reason to believe in ourselves and a positive future. Clearly, in today’s race, we benefited from some attrition but, throughout, we were running at a pace that allowed us to stay in position with the cars around us. It is clear that we are now able to race with the back of the midfield pack. The penalty situation was a cause for concern and the way in which we served this with Jules was the product of some unusual circumstances, but we understand and accept the decisions. Thankfully, the second penalty was not the determining factor that it could have been. A tough day for Max; today simply didn’t go his way, but we are pleased for him that his finishing record continues.”

The result means that the team are now guaranteed a cash boost at the end of the season as they have now scored the all important points needed to help with their financial situation. There are now only two teams on the grid, Sauber and Caterham who are yet to score point's this season.

©Ben Johnston 2014 

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