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Marussia battles nerves as tenth retained
5 November 2012
Marussia boss John Booth admitted that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had been one for the nerves after the team managed to hold on to tenth in the constructors' championship standings.
Having moved into the vital championship position in Singapore, Marussia needs rival Caterham to finish no higher than 13th before the end of the season in order to secure tenth spot.
A strong run from Heikki Kovalainen in Abu Dhabi led to nervous moments in the Marussia garage, with the Finn running twelfth at one stage before settling into 13th in the closing stages.
Had the Finn been able to make up one position before the end of the race, it would have seen Caterham move back ahead of Marussia in the championship standings thanks to its superior head-to-head record and Booth admitted that the race had shown Marussia can't take tenth spot for granted.
“A nail-biting race pretty much from start to finish, although it was in the final ten laps that we really felt the pressure,” he said. “We could do little about the retirements ahead of us, so we had to simply concentrate on our own very hard-fought race with Caterham. To see Timo pulling away from Petrov, and Charles pushing him hard, gives us further encouragement for the remaining two races.
“It was disappointing that Timo lost his left-hand front wing end-plate on the opening lap, as I really feel we could have been much closer to Heikki had this not been the case. Our S1 performance has been good all weekend and clearly the loss of this part hurt us there and allowed Heikki to build the gap. The engineers were in quite a dilemma as to whether to change the wing, but ultimately the loss of track position that the longer pitstop would have brought meant that we just had to rely on Timo to manage the problem, which of course he did beautifully. For Charles, again an unfortunate retirement due to an engine air system problem. We are sorry he has borne the brunt of these failures this year, however the engine we will fit for the remaining two races has not shown any signs of these problems.
“Today has reminded us that P10 is far from 'a given' - we have to keep fighting to keep it. However, all the way through the weekend we have shown just how hard we are fighting and given the very small pace difference that exists between us and Caterham now, I'm sure we can enjoy some great racing right up until the end of the season.”
Timo Glock followed Kovalainen home to the finish in 14th spot while Charles Pic's retirement came on the 42nd lap as he failed to finish for the fifth time this season.
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