SPA, Belgium, August 22nd, 2013 (F1plus/B. Dixon).- Rookies Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton return to the cockpit of their MR02's this weekend having had the opportunity to reflect on their maiden seasons so far, and use their learning experiences to make their performances stronger in the second half of the season.
Jules Bianchi's debut Formula One season started with a bang. He has consistently outpaced Max both in qualifying and in races and feels ready to build on that as the season moves through its final stretch.
“Obviously the first part of the season has been really good for me and the team. The second part a bit more difficult. Now we're going into the last part and I feel confident. I was really happy with the first result we had but we still need to push and improve.” The Frenchman said.
Bianchi has been praised by the head of the Ferrari driver academy Luca Baldisseri who believes he is the benchmark driver in the team having progressed at a rapid rate, however the Frenchman continues to be coy about his chances of a move to the Scuderia for 2014,
“Well, I think the right move is first to think about this year, finish the season and let my manager and Ferrari see what we can do and they will decide and they will make a good call but for sure I'm happy and pleased with Marussia.” He added.
Bianchi wasn't the only Marussia driver remaining tight lipped about a seat for next year. Team Principal John Booth has complimented both drivers on their performances so far this year, in particular the lack of mistakes they have made, and has expressed a wish that they both remain at the team for a further year.
“I haven't spoken to them (John Booth and Graeme Lowdon) personally about future plans yet. I wouldn't say I have added pressure trying to prove myself for next year, I want to do this year and I think I have still got my own goals and do what I want to do for the second part of the year.
“Obviously it would be nice for any driver to know you've got a seat for next year but it's not my main objective yet, I've got plenty of things I want to do and prove to others this year before I start worrying about next year.” Chilton commented.
Marussia started the season off strongly showing a distinct difference in performance in comparison with closest rivals Caterham. Over the course of the first half of the season the gap has become increasingly smaller, something the team will want to rectify over the next nine races and Chilton is even optimistic about the chance of a point for the team,
“That point would make my year and the teams year. I would love to get that for the team, we fully deserve it but I think we all know we need a bit of luck on our side to get it done. There is a few races in the next nine which do throw up the things that could make that possible.” He concluded.