Marussia duo delighted with Q2 appearance
24 August 2013 – Marussia drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton declared themselves delighted after reaching the second phase of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, the result marking the first time the Anglo-Russian outfit has managed to get both cars out of Q1.
Having begun the first phase on a wet circuit with the Intermediate tyre, both drivers switched to the Medium rubber for their final runs. Gambling on the track surface drying adequately to enable them to push in the closing stages, the pair ultimately managed to displace both Williams cars, both Toro Rossos, and the Sauber of Esteban Gutiérrez to finish in 15th and 16th as their roll of the dice paid off.
"Today is a fantastic result for the team, who are so happy to be back in Q2," said Bianchi. "This was a nice feeling for everybody, including myself, as this was also the first Q2 of my F1 career. Things have been steadily improving for us over the weekend and I’m really happy that all the hard work paid off for us.
"This result was not about luck because everyone was faced with the same dilemma at the end of the Q1 session; whether it might be too dry for the Intermediate tyre or too wet for slicks. On the first lap on the final run it was hard to make up my mind what to do; only the drivers could see what the track was really like and it was different from corner to corner. By the end of the lap I had decided to go for it and stay on the Medium and that gamble was exactly the right call."
Chilton, who lines up behind his team-mate for the 11th time this season, concurred, adding that despite being the youngest pairing on the grid, it was the drivers who made the final call to stay out on slicks.
"What a great day for everyone!" Chilton exclaimed. "Together with Jules I’m so pleased to help put the Team into Q2 again. When we switched to the dry tyre for the final run I was worried we may have made the wrong call and might have to switch back to the Intermediate but I also knew the track was drying quickly and we could easily make another wrong call by changing back.
"The engineers put the decision in my hands and I was undecided until the final corner, when I just made a judgment call in an instant. I’m happy to say it was the right call and we went on to enjoy a strong Q2. I can’t wait for the race now, rain or shine."