26 March 2014
Chilton confident of Marussia F1 progress in Malaysia
Max Chilton is expecting an improved performance from the Marussia F1 team at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.
Despite problems hindering his Australian Grand Prix weekend, second year Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton says he is in optimistic mood heading to round two in Malaysia this weekend.
The Briton finished 13th after being forced to start from the pit-lane in Melbourne, but enjoyed a largely trouble-free 57 laps that allowed the team to gather vital data for the races to come. The early part of the weekend, however, had been a little more fraught, with gearbox gremlins affecting both MR03s, but Chilton is confident that this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang can be a better one for the team.
“I left Melbourne feeling pretty positive about our 2014 debut,” he insisted, “We have a few things to iron out to give ourselves a better run at qualifying and the race, but I'm confident that we will see the first signs of progress with that this weekend in Malaysia.
“Our early level of reliability is quite encouraging and we've had two cars' worth of data from the race to work with to really help us to troubleshoot our systems, so there are some really good signs at this stage. We still have some way to go to be able to gauge the true performance level of the car and we need to keep making steady in-roads into that to ensure we maintain a good direction, [but] I'm excited to see what Malaysia will bring.”
The Melbourne race was the first for the Marussia-Ferrari partnership, and the engine supplier is keen to add further data from Sepang to push the relationship forward.
“After a successful season debut in Melbourne, the Malaysia Grand Prix will provide an important next stage in the development of the co-operation between Ferrari and Marussia,” Mattia Binotto, the Scuderia's deputy director of engine and electronics, confirmed, “When you are at the beginning of a partnership, every day is precious. There are a thousand ways, not only technical but also human, which improve with an ever deeper mutual understanding and, consequently, they do grow on both sides.
“For Scuderia Ferrari, a customer team is not simply a counterpart to provide with a technical supply, but also a team with which to work together to grow, which takes on a value even more important in a season that presents a totally new technological challenge, as is the case this year. We have found in the Banbury team the same desire to learn that characterises our own team and that is another reason why we're happy with the choice we've made!”
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