Thursday March 21, 2013
Marussia’s rookie drivers Bianchi and Chilton raring for action
MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (MARCH 22-24)
MARUSSIA drivers Jules Bianchi (pic) and Max Chilton may be rookies at the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang this weekend but they don’t intend to be tail-enders.
Both have been working on race simulators to familiarise themselves with the Sepang track as they head into the second round of the world championship.
Bianchi and Chilton finished 15th and 17th respectively in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Bianchi said it was nice to really absorb the experience of his first Formula 1 race last weekend in Melbourne.
“There were quite a lot of new things to deal with including driving a race of that distance for the first time and bringing together everything that I had learned.
“This week I had the chance to think everything through – what I have learned and where I need to go from here. I had a good debrief with my engineers and I feel very comfortable. Now I start on the Malaysian GP.
“I’ve done some work on the simulator and I think Sepang is a circuit I’m going to enjoy. I know the challenge it brings in terms of the heat and humidity, so I’m prepared for that.
“Although my debut went well, there are some areas that I need to work on and where I can improve. So for this race we will have a little more time and experience to think about what we need to do to keep pushing forward.
“I’m hoping for another good performance in the race on Sunday, of course,” said the 23-year-old Frenchman.
Chilton said their target is to get within striking distance of the midfield pack.
“With my debut Grand Prix done and dusted, it’s time to start thinking about Malaysia this weekend and what we can do to build the momentum. We have shown how close we are to the midfield teams so getting within striking distance of that pack is our next target and that is what I’m focusing on.
“It has been good to take the time to think about my first race, but with the next one coming around so quickly it’s all about moving ahead. It was my first time racing at Albert Park but Sepang is a track I know well and have raced on a few times. So, to some extent, that helps in getting up to speed much more quickly and being able to focus on car set-up instead,” said the 21-year-old Englishman.
Both Marussia drivers were in town to visit and mingle with the children of Taarana School in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The school caters for children with special learning needs and was established by the Vijayaratnam Foundation, the CSR arm of the Q1 Group in Malaysia, who are the official partners of Marussia.