Marussia team principal John Booth has praised Jules Bianchi after his "awesome" drive to ninth place in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Bianchi ensured Marussia scored the first F1 points in its history by originally finishing eighth in Monaco, though he later dropped behind Romain Grosjean in the final results having been hit with a five-second time penalty during the race. While a number of retirements and incidents aided Bianchi's cause, he had been quick all weekend and was disappointed not to challenge for Q2 during qualifying.

Speaking exclusively to Crash.net, when asked if the result was a sign of Bianchi's talents Booth replied: "I think we've seen those signs before.

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"The whole week [in Monaco] he has been awesome. From Thursday he was 13th in FP1 on merit and I think he has shown what he can do [at Monte Carlo] from the day we arrived."

And Booth admitted that he had found the whole result strange to deal with as it came following such an inauspicious start.

"It's a bit surreal because obviously at the start of the race we're stood on the grid at the back and it's only five laps in when we realise we've got a stop/go penalty. Then we misread the regulations and served it under the safety car so we had another stop/go penalty. So ten seconds of penalties and starting at the back of the grid doesn't give you a lot of hope for success!

"But we had good pace in the race, very good pace. Jules just kept plugging away, plugging away, and it just came to us."

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Taipan - not the same at all (Tamara Ecclestone).

Maldonado's funding comes from PDVSA, as another example. They come with a package that the team needs.

"Sponsored" drivers go back to the dawn of racing - Tim Birkin was backed by Dorothy Paget when developing his "Blower" Bentley - even in junior formulae drivers are required to bring a percentage of the team's budget (just check the classifieds in Autosport around seasons ending for the following year).

Yeah - he's not the fastest, and daddy does back him. So what?

Would it be more acceptable if he received backing from GSK or Astra-Zeneca?? The Tour of California (bicycle stage race) is sponsored by Amgen - who produce EPO - should they be prevented from backing that race?

Your observation that his was the 7th fastest lap means he somehow put something together, although popping a tyre on Raikkonen's Ferrari was not too clever.

Constantly harping on about a perceived injustice only serves to diminish the original argument,

cont'd:

diminish the original argument, irrespective of it's merit. -

Something a certain other F1 driver should realise.

For all the slagging off Chilton receives, whether justified or not, as a $$$ driver, surely that is his one very important contribution to the team - $$$. Budgetary constraints are well known - and not just at the lower end of the grid - just think of John Booth's comments on how much his latest upgrades cost.

If a more talented driver (maybe sponsorless too) occupied Chilton's seat those funds would not be there, and maybe the downside of that might more than compensate, negatively, than their nr. 2 driver tooling around at the back.