Marussia boss John Booth says the team needs to ensure it takes a step forward when F1 heads back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix on the back of a tough weekend in Bahrain.
Both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton suffered with tyre degradation during the race at the Sakhir circuit and came home behind the Caterham of Charles Pic – with the Frenchman benefitting from upgrades on his car to take a step forward in performance.
The Cosworth-powered team will now seek to bounce back at Catalunya and Booth admitted that the team had to work hard to improve for the fifth race of the campaign.
“A difficult weekend continued into the race unfortunately,” he said. “Our performance today was defined by the fact that this track just hasn't played to the strengths of our car and at the same time as this has hurt us, the cars around us have made their own progress. It was also a busy race in the pits today, given the higher tyre degradation that we experienced.
“All in all, I believe we got the most out of the car today, but clearly we need a good step for Barcelona to maintain our objective of continuous improvement throughout the year. We head back to the UK now for a busy few weeks in the factory preparing our upgrades for the start of the European season, whilst analysing what we've learned at the last two races.
“I'm sure that the result of this work will be a much-improved car for the next race and we can get back to competing where we want to be.”
Bianchi, who was again first Marussia man home in 19th spot, agreed that it had been a hard race on track and said he felt the upgrades planned by the team were coming 'at the right time'.
“A really difficult race for us today and a tough weekend all round to be honest,” he said. “I was hoping that things might improve for the race, but we really struggled with the tyres. On my fourth stint the plan was to go to the end but we had to pit again. From there it was just about making it to the finish and holding position with the cars around me.
“There isn't much more to say about here; it was not destined to be our race and we are at the stage where we need to implement the next round of upgrades, which of course are coming right when we need them for Barcelona. My thanks to the pit crew today for a busy day of pit stops and for keeping their spirits through the weekend.”