3 November 2013
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Bianchi 'disappointed' to get grid penalty
Jules Bianchi: It is disappointing to have a good lap in qualifying to recover from FP3, only to then have a penalty that will mean I have to start from the back. We will work now to find a good strategy to get ahead of the competition [in the race].
Marussia's Jules Bianchi has expressed his frustration after picking up a five-place grid penalty for today's F1 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Frenchman qualified 20th at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday, splitting the two Caterhams, and was only 0.146 seconds off Giedo van der Garde, even though he had KERS issues, which meant he only got in one proper flying lap.
However, he will start on the back row as he had to change his gearbox for qualifying, a consequence of his crash in final practice, which was due to a mechanical problem.
“It has not been a good day on my side, so to work hard together to come back from that is a big plus and I am happy with my final run [in qualifying], which was good enough to split the Caterhams,” Bianchi said. “In FP3 I had a problem at the rear [of the car] which pushed me off track and into a spin. Thankfully I was able to avoid hitting the wall too hard but there was damage to the gearbox which meant that we needed to change.
“It is disappointing to have a good lap in qualifying to recover from FP3, only to then have a penalty that will mean I have to start from the back. We will work now to find a good strategy to get ahead of the competition.”
Max Chilton meanwhile also had problems with a DRS issue leaving him slowest at the end of Q1. He will start 20th however, due to the penalties for Kimi Raikkonen and his team-mate.
“It has been a difficult day overall but particularly in qualifying with the DRS issue,” said the Brit. “On the first laps of the second run I went faster, but on my second flying lap there was nothing left in the tyres, which is disappointing because I think Jules and I would have been pretty close again when it counted.
“Looking at what I lost from DRS and also by doing three laps versus one lap, we can say that the time loss was significant. However, tomorrow is another day and we'll be pushing to make it a positive one.”
“Today we have encountered more than our fair share of problems and ultimately these issues have translated into a loss of performance,” summarised Marussia team boss, John Booth. “With Max, the impact of the loss of his DRS in qualifying was obviously significant. We found the cause soon after the session and it will be relatively easy to fix this for tomorrow, but we didn't give him the best shot at preparing for the race.
“With Jules, an issue on the car in FP3 meant that he was forced off track and while the impact was not significant, it did still cause damage to the differential and this necessitated a gearbox change. The loss of his option run in FP3 and then subsequently a KERS issue early into qualifying meant that he only really had one shot at an option lap today. We managed to fix the KERS issue in time to give Jules a second qualifying run and he was finally able to get a push-lap but there was clearly more performance to come.”
“Overnight we must get on top of the frustrations of the day and I'm confident that we will address all of the issues. Over the past few races we have had the benefit of excellent starts, so I am sure we will be able to recover from our grid positions,” Booth concluded.
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