After more than two-and-a-half seasons, there is hope that Marussia is finally making steps towards the midfield, following on from the team's best ever result, courtesy of Timo Glock's twelfth place in Singapore.
The result moves Marussia into tenth place in the F1 2012 constructors' standings, and represents a huge turnaround for Glock, who was seemingly losing patience with the project earlier in the year, without any quantifiable progress having been made. In Singapore, however, the team out-smarted rival Caterham - traditionally the strongest of the three most recently formed teams - to claim a first top half finish since its arrival in F1 at the beginning of 2010.
Glock, who has been with the team from the start, was delighted with the result, and perhaps more importantly, the pace of the car.
“An incredible race for us," he enthused, "In general, I knew that, with our strategy, we could really do something if we stayed close to [Heikki] Kovalainen in the first stint and that's what I tried to do - to get everything out of the car.
"Unfortunately, the rear tyre pressures came up a bit too much and I overshot the car in turn 19 and hit the wall. In the first moment, I thought the race was over and I realised that the toe was really out, so I had to change my driving style and, actually, changed everything that I could do to keep the car on track.
"I had to get used to the behaviour of the car, so I was saving the right-rear tyre in all the left-hand corners and squeezing everything out in the right corners to get the lap time. When the safety cars came out, I knew that mixing us in the pack gave us a chance to fight again.
"After the first safety car, I could go quicker than Heikki and, in the end, when he turned into the pits, I knew I needed to push everything out of the car before he came back at me with fresh tyres. In terms of the pit-stops, the team made a really good job and that is getting very consistent now."
The German admitted that a best-ever championship position was not guaranteed until the final race of the year had been completed in Brazil, but remained optimistic that his Marina bay result can help give Marussia a vital leg-up.
“We do, of course, need to hold on to tenth place until the end of the season still and I hope we can," he noted, "Over the last four months, we have really closed that gap to Caterham and this is a very nice reward to everyone in the team, because it has not been easy. We'll enjoy the moment, but keep pushing now for the next race and beyond."
Glock's team-mate, Charles Pic, was also delighted with the updates to the car, although he was unable to capitalise, finishing down in 16th after a time penalty. Nevertheless, his early pace promised much, and bodes well for his chances of keeping his place within the team for 2013.
by Philip Barclay