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GP Week : Issue 186
You wouldn’t want to be lodging an insurance claim form at Marussia on Monday morning after Jules Bianchi’s race in Germany saw his MR02 detonate an engine and then proceeded to roll back wards across the track into oncoming traffic. After completing two stops, Bianchi’s Cosworth gave up its last breath in spectacular style on lap 22, bringing out the yellow flags on the elevated run to Khumo Curve. After Bianchi left his car for the safety of the Armco, his Marussia crept backwards before marshals could attend the stricken vehicle, which gradually gained momentum – into the path of fast approaching competitors. All marshals could do was frantically wave double yellows in the hope that all concerned would avoid the pilotless Marussia. Miraculously their efforts were not in vain; with the MR02 coming to rest after taking out nothing more than a braking marker. In the immediate aftermath of the race, Marussia team principal John Booth was unable to confirm the cause of the engine failure, but was confident his team could move for ward from their wretched weekend. “An incredibly disappointing result for the team today, but perhaps one which – when digested on Monday morning – will be viewed more favourably,” said Booth. “ We don’t yet know the cause [of Bianchi’s engine failure], but I am sure working with Cosworth tonight we will be able to make an initial assessment of what went wrong.” Despite the potential for disaster surrounding his retirement, Bianchi was similarly circumspect, concentrating on what could have been. “Obviously it is very disappointing to end my race so soon” said Bianchi. “I got a very poor start and it was a real battle to recover from that and stay ahead of Pic. I had just completed my second pit stop and got ahead of van der Garde when the engine let go, but I think we had the pace to be able to fight to keep both Caterhams behind had I continued.” There were some positives to be salvaged from Marussia’s weekend, with Max Chilton running at more or less the same pace as Bianchi until the Frenchman’s retirement. While a late race oversteer development prevented an assault on the Caterhams, Chilton will have taken some heart from his race pace given the mammoth gap to his teammate in qualifying. Marussia goes backwards – literally ... 33 GPWEEK.com // 33 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> GERMANY