Marussia team principal John Booth has branded the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 'very disappointing' and has admitted the Banbury-based outfit has a lot of work to do in order to understand why it took a step back during the race.

Booth had been pretty happy with the performance in qualifying, even if Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton were both held back by technical issues. However in the race, neither could stay with their main rivals at Caterham, and both finished a lap down on Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic.

"A very disappointing race for us today and it is clear that we have taken a step back in terms of pace relative to qualifying and where we were in India. We will need to analyse the race in a lot of detail in order to understand why that is, especially when we consider that our qualifying performance looked good yesterday," Booth confirmed. "During the race both drivers reported poor car balance and I'm sure this will be the main focus of our work between now and Austin.

"On the positive side we saw good starts again this week, both cars ran reliably and we got on top of all the issues that we saw yesterday. We leave Abu Dhabi with a lot of work to do but we will be back to strength in two weeks' time."

Bianchi and Chilton meanwhile were similarly frustrated and spent the afternoon battling with the car balance and a lack of pace.

"I think we are quite surprised by our performance today after we had seemed to arrive at an improvement in qualifying," said Bianchi, who finished 20th and ahead of Chilton, despite starting behind. "It was a very long race, I have to say. The car balance was not as we expected and I had to really push very hard to keep pace with the Caterhams, which is not ideal for managing the tyres.

"I think we will have to have a good look at everything before we go to Austin as, in theory, our new developments had seemed positive. It has been a tough weekend so we hope for better things in the final two races."

"That was a tough race for us today," Chilton echoed. "We've made some good progress this weekend but for some reason we were unable to show that today. The start was good - again - so well done to the Team for getting on top of that because that last few races have been very good in that respect.

"Into the race the car balance was difficult and we were just battling for pace. It's a shame, because our new developments seemed positive, but they haven't translated into the race today. On the plus side, I finished yet another race - so that's 17 out of 17 now - and of course we still hold position in the Constructors' Championship.

"I think we have a lot of work to do to get on top of this before Austin as we need two strong final races," Chilton summed-up.



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