4 June 2014
Bianchi targets Sauber as Marussia F1 moves on to Montreal
With its first points in the bag after Monaco, Jules Bianchi believes Marussia needs a new F1 goal as it heads to the Canadian Grand Prix.
While it does not expect to repeat its unexpected Monaco performance, the entire Marussia F1 squad heads to this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix in optimistic mood.
The tiny Banbury equipe scored its first points last time out in the Principality, as Jules Bianchi made the most of events in the race to finish eighth on the road, although that was later commuted to ninth by a post-race penalty. With daylight now between itself and main rival Caterham, Marussia intends to set its sights on tackling one of the sport's perennial midfield contenders.
“I'm very excited for this weekend,” Bianchi admitted, “The car seems so good at the moment that it feels we can go to every race feeling optimistic for a positive outcome. It has been such a fantastic week or so since Monaco, and it has been nice to celebrate with the team after all the hard work it has taken to get this far.
“I think the points success will live with us for a very long time, but equally we have to switch focus to the next races to ensure we keep moving forward. I don't know if we can get two points again in Canada, but we need to consistently demonstrate that we can keep pace with the Saubers and have a good race, and this I think we can do.”
For team boss John Booth, Bianchi's result in Monaco was a major landmark in Marussia's development, and the veteran is keen to see the upward momentum continue in Canada.
“As you might imagine, we head to Canada with a definite spring in our step,” Booth confirmed, “[Monaco] was an important milestone for everyone in the team and provides an important affirmation, internally and externally, of the positive trajectory we are taking in pursuit of our longer term ambitions.
“Canada is one of our favourite racing destinations, although not necessarily a track that has suited us in the past, so it will be interesting to see how well the set-up developments that worked for us in Spain and Monaco will translate to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. While we are not expecting to replicate our success in Monaco, we are hopeful that we can further underline our recent performance increment with another strong race for both drivers.”
While Bianchi was being toasted in Monaco, team-mate Max Chilton admitted that little had gone right for him that weekend, and is hoping for better fortunes in Canada.
“After such a positive test in Barcelona, and a very positive qualifying in Monaco off the back of that, I am hoping that we can piece together all of the positives into a more competitive result in Montreal,” he noted, “I am really encouraged by the work we have done and the obvious progress that we are making with the car. After a successful team result last time out, it's shaping up to being busier than usual, but I can't wait to get back down to the racing.”
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