A significant step forward by Marussia in recent weeks was underlined by another strong showing from lead driver Timo Glock in the Korean Grand Prix.
Marussia stand tenth in the F1 2012 Constructor's Championship as a result of Glocks thirteenth in Singapore two races ago. Despite this, the team had no illusions about their level relative to main rival Caterham, particularly on a track such as the Yeongam Circuit where Marussia's lack of KERS was expected to be a significant handicap on the long straights.
Glock was therefore delighted by the pace of his car and his ability to challenge the Caterhams for long periods, and enthused about the teams progress post-race.
“I was very excited at the start of the race as I could see that we could really challenge the Caterhams," he said. "I had a big chance in the middle stint and managed to close the gap like in Suzuka. We took the risk to go on to the Supersoft option tyre and I was just waiting for Heikki to make a mistake. Unfortunately there was no opportunity and on the long straight he had the KERS, so I couldn't attack him.
“I was the first car with the blue flags which dropped me back in the final phase of the race. Also our last stint was quite long and the front right tyre really started to go away. I had a lot of front wheel locking and in the last eight laps I just decided to focus on bringing the car home; I took it very easy and gentle. Our strategy was a good one and it was great to be racing and really threatening the Caterhams again.
“It was very motivating and my lap times were very consistent, so I'm really happy with the progress. Well done also to the pit crew, who did a solid job again. I hope there are tracks coming where the KERS effect may be slightly less and we can continue to keep fighting hard like this.”
Glock's team mate Charles Pic had a more frustrating afternoon, after being forced to start from the back of the grid, and found himself battling in early traffic. He eventually finished nineteenth, one place but a long way behind his more experienced colleague.
“The first part of the race was tough for me because of having to start at the back of the grid due to our engine change," he said. "I was stuck behind the HRT cars for a while and I lost quite a lot of time. Because of this, it wasn't long before I was already too far out of touch with the Caterhams ahead and it was difficult to try to come back from this.
“Looking at the weekend overall though, I was very pleased with my qualifying and also our pace in the race was good, particularly in the last part of the stint. I look forward to being able to discover another new track for me in India.”
by Philip Barclay