Marussia may have been knocked out in a soggy Q1 qualifying session in Australia but that hasn’t dimmed the lights of their aspirations for 2013. The team qualified ahead of Caterham F1, their nearest rival, and was within a second or two of the mid-field teams of Williams and Sauber.
In difficult conditions, anything can happen and it usually does in the rain but Marussia were asking two rookie drivers to throw down hot laps in the rain and they delivered. Team boss John Booth said:
“It was a big ‘ask’ of two rookie drivers to face a qualifying session like the one we’ve experienced today, but then we have absolute faith in our line-up and that has been rewarded today. Both Jules and Max performed admirably in what must have been very daunting conditions and we are very pleased with where we find ourselves today. I have to admit that we were disappointed to be faced with a wet qualifying. The car looked good in the dry yesterday and we were hoping to use qualifying as the barometer it can be in showcasing relative outright performance. Nevertheless, that’s racing and we’ll continue to feel encouraged by a very positive start to the weekend – and hopefully the season.”
Marussia’s mark was Caterham but if they could keep the mid-field in sight until the Spanish Grand Prix, then perhaps their upgrade package can hold them in anchor of the mid-field teams for the season. It’s an encouraging opening day for the team and while the season is a long, grueling process that takes cash to compete in the development war, the team should take some solace from out-performing Caterham.