Despite bringing their cars home in one piece at the end of the British Grand Prix last Sunday, Marussia drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton were not entirely happy with their performance.
As the team, cars and equipment headed straight to Germany from Silverstone ahead of the third of six back-to-back race weekends on the 2013 calendar, the rookie pairing took time out to reflect on where Marussia has slipped behind main rival Caterham in recent weeks, hoping to put matters right by the time the season reaches its summer break after Hungary.
“It's hard to believe that we are almost at the middle of the season - the races are really starting to come quickly, so it is especially important that we stay focused now,” Bianchi admitted, “At Silverstone, we didn't achieve our objective of staying ahead of the Caterham and we have to turn that situation around again. We need to give ourselves a better chance for the race by having a stronger preparation on Friday and Saturday, to leave us in the best position.”
Team-mate Chilton confirmed that, while race day usually allows Marussia to show its strongest hand, the build-up has become its weak point.
“I've caught up with my engineers on what we learned from the [Silverstone] race and we'll continue that process over the next couple of days as we need to give ourselves the best possible run-up to the weekend,” the Briton revealed, “I'm very pleased with my record of finishes – eight in eight races – so naturally I'm keen to keep that going, [but] qualifying is an area we particularly need to improve on, so that's the first objective.”
Both drivers have previous experience of racing at the Nurburgring from their time in the feeder series, so they shouldn't have any problems learning the layout and get straight down to working on set up for the rest of the weekend.
“Our home race at Silverstone provided a further reminder of how hard we have to keep working to achieve our goals for the season,” team principal John Booth confirmed, “We are very satisfied with our current level of reliability [as] we've brought two cars home in seven out of eight races, so now we have to work to extract every ounce of performance from the package.
“Last weekend, we demonstrated that a particular area of focus for us is qualifying, and we've spent the past couple of days taking a good look at all the data collected to see how we can improve.
“This has been an interesting turnaround for the race team, with our cars and equipment heading straight from Silverstone to Germany on Sunday evening, [but] everything is in place logistically and now our thoughts turn to the progress we can make on the racetrack this weekend.”