Jules Bianchi produced another impressive performance in Malaysia to maintain Marussia's solid start to the 2013 F1 season.
The Frenchman was again the best of the four drivers running with F1's 'new' teams as he maintained the strong form he displayed during the season opener in Australia.
Qualifying in 19th spot, just two-tenths of a second down on the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, Bianchi rebounded from a poor start to cross the line in 13th spot and he said he felt the performance on track was a good indication of the potential there is in the MR02.
“Obviously I'm delighted to finish 13th today, after 15th in my first race last weekend,” he said. “I hope this is a trend we can continue! It was not an easy day though as we made life more difficult with a not so good start and opening lap and this really hurt the first part of my race. The lap time was really coming towards the end of the first stint but I was stuck behind the Caterham and unable to do much with it.
“After 18 laps or so I was able to get back into position and from then on I was very happy with my progress. It was nice to have held off Maldonado and to maintain the gap for so long. This shows we have the car to fight with them in the future. There are some things to learn from and improve after today and the weekend generally, but we have also made more progress already since Melbourne and we need to keep pushing. My thanks to the team for a lot of hard work and more to come between now and China.”
Team-mate Max Chilton meanwhile took the finish in 16th spot, although the Briton was also left to rue a poor start that ultimately hit his challenge for the remainder of the race.
“I'm slightly disappointed with today because it seemed so many things were against us,” he said. “First, the start didn't work well and I lost a lot of time on the opening lap. That setback and being stuck behind the Caterhams really defined my race, which is tough to take because you know instinctively that the blue flag period is going to come much sooner in the race.
“The car performance is there and so is my pace, but there's some work to do to bring all of that together and maximise every part of the race, including how we manage the blue flag phase. I'm sure that focus will ensure we can come back stronger in China. A good job by the team this weekend as it has not been an easy time.”