MONZA, September 7th, 2013 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Chilton had a good day on Friday, especially FP2 where he finished above both Caterham drivers, but his pace in qualifying suffered as his car was 19.5 kilos overweight with fuel.
“The team have just been very honest with me and just informed me that my car is 19 and a half kilos overweight with fuel,” Chilton said.
“So take that as what you think in time, which I know how much that is in time and I wasn’t far off Charles [Pic], so that for me is the best qualifying of the year for me.”
The 22 year old went on to say that while it’s bad news that the car is overweight, it’s great news at the same time.
“It’s kind of the best news and the worst news I’ve heard because it would have been the first time I would have out qualified my teammate but it wasn’t to be.”
When asked how it happened he explained that instead of taking 9.5 kilos of fuel out, somehow 9.5 kilos ended up going into the car.
“They were instructed to take nine and a half kilos [of fuel] out at the start of qualifying and whatever happened it ended up turning into 9.5 (kilos) going in”
Marussia realised what had happened when they saw the weight of the car on the weighbridge. As the team began pumping the fuel out they realised there was more fuel in the car than there should have been.
He said that although the car's race pace looks "promising" the team will have a lot of work to do if they want to make up lost ground.
“We will have our work cut out tomorrow for sure, given where we are now starting, but we will do everything possible to recover some ground.”
Chilton says he has split the year in half and calls this the start of the second season and will be carrying over what he learnt during the first half of the year into the second half of the season.
When asked by F1Plus what they key things were he’d be carrying over into the "second season" he said he couldn’t really pinpoint one thing.
“We’re already professionals and I knew a lot coming into Formula One but you also learn a hell of a lot in F1. Those things you learn which are all little things all add up to make a difference.”
Teammate Jules Bianchi, who starts tomorrow’s race in 21st place, isn’t as happy as Chilton with the car.
“Unfortunately we ran out of time to keep working on striking a good car balance here,” Bianchi explained.
“It is clear that I am fighting the car a little and losing time because of this, but I am more hopeful that we will be slightly better off in terms of race pace tomorrow.”
Marussia are currently 10th in the constructors championship and need to prevent Caterham from finishing 13th or higher to keep hold of their position.
Caterham meanwhile saw a return to performance after a disappointing FP2, with Giedo van der Garde qualifying 19th and Charles Pic 20th.
The Leafield based team are happy to have qualified ahead of Marussia, though Pic felt there was more to be gained had the car had the same kind of balance they experienced in FP3.
"There was definitely more to come if we’d had the same sort of balance we’d had in FP3. Despite that, the main target for the team was to finish ahead of our direct competitors and we clearly did that today,” Pic said.
Van der Garde felt his time was the best they could have hoped for and is going into the Italian Grand Prix happy.
“A mid-26 was about as good as we could have hoped for so I’m really pleased with how quali went. It’s another session where I’m building my experience and my confidence in the car so I’ll go into the race feeling really good.”