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GP Week : Issue 202
Joy at Marussia Other team managers shared the happiness for Marussia. In F1, scoring points opens up access to a share of the money pool, and so the couple of points now alongside Jules Bianchi’s name are invaluable. No doubt Monaco’s unique challenges and attrition rate helped, but the Ferrari Driver Academy driver delivered an intellligent, measured race in a car which, by all accounts, benefitted from the recent Barcelona test. After starting from the back row (gearbox change penalty), Bianchi gained five places in superb opening lap to be 16th. With a five- second penalty being handed out to all the back-of-field cars which had moved up to fill Maldonado’s DNS grid spot, that was taken care of during the main lap 29 stop. On lap 40, Bianchi pulled off a top move to slip past Kobayashi’s ???? at Rascasse, then continued on, facing a further five-second race- time penalty – because the original was taken under the Safety Car! Eventually, Jules got the car over the line in eighth, which became ninth with the penalty. It didn’t really matter. The points do: “We have made great progress, particularly since the Barcelona Test,” said a delighted Jules Bianchi. “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.” Team principal John Booth concurred: “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 accolades came from far and wide – including McLaren racing director Eric Boullier: "I want to pass on my congratulations to Jules Bianchi, John Booth, Graeme Lowdon and everybody at the Marussia team for scoring their very first world championship points today. Jules drove fantastically all weekend, and ninth place was a fantastic reward – not only for Jules' charging drive, but also for the team's efforts all season to improve and develop their car. They're a fantastic bunch of guys, and they really deserve this today." 34 GPWEEK.com // 34 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONACO PARTNERS: