Booth: Character-building year for Marussia
26 November 2013 – Marussia team principal John Booth has admitted 2013 was a 'character-building' year for the Banbury-based outfit.
Marussia held on to secure tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship following the season finale in Brazil last weekend, with Jules Bianchi’s 13th place finish in Malaysia ultimately proving sufficient to see off rivals Caterham.
Given what happened at Interlagos twelve months ago though, when Caterham pipped Marussia after Vitaly Petrov finished in eleventh, there was no time to relax.
“Although we have held on to 10th place in the Championship all season, we still had to cross the line at the season finale in order to get the job done,” Booth reflected. “The Brazilian Grand Prix is renowned for being one of the most chaotic races on the calendar and so we needed to have our wits about us throughout the full 71 lap race, especially as there was the constant threat of rain.
“Although we encountered a few light showers, the way the race eventually panned out meant that no one was going to challenge our position today.”
“This has certainly been a character-building season,” he added. “At the beginning we had a clear advantage over Caterham, then we lost some ground during the middle part of the year. Over the final long-haul phase we have pushed extremely hard, caught up and enjoyed some proper racing with them, with our performance in Austin last weekend underlining our continued progress and providing the perfect prelude to the finale here.
“With zero dry running before going to the grid, today was a tough ask of our two young drivers, who have never driven at this circuit before and had to go out there and be on it from lap 1.
“They were improving at every stage of the race and towards the end, in very damp conditions, Jules was running exceptionally well on the prime tyre and pulling away from [Geido] Van der Garde.
“Credit to the whole Team - both trackside and back at base in Banbury - for an incredibly hard-fought 2013 campaign. Well done to both Jules and Max [Chilton], who have performed admirably in a tough rookie season, having more than risen to the challenge. Congratulations also to Max for his fantastic record of 19 finishes in 19 races, which is a testament to his skill and the Team’s fantastic reliability record.
“Finally, the result is about the whole package, and so credit to our powertrain partners, Cosworth and Xtrac, with whom we have worked for four rewarding seasons, as well as our Team Partners and Suppliers who have shared the journey with us.”