The Marussia F1 Team is on its way to Melbourne for the season-opening 2013 Formula 1™ Rolex Australian Grand Prix. The cars and associated air freight left the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury on Friday for the 24 hour, 10,500 mile trip down under, where the Team will not only begin its 2013 season challenge, but embark on its fourth season of competition.
The Team heads into the curtain-raiser with more than 4000kms of testing mileage to its name and some very encouraging performance indicators from the MR02 package and both members of its exciting new driver line-up, 21 year old Briton Max Chilton and 23 year old Frenchman Jules Bianchi.
Melbourne is a fantastic place to get things started. It’s a lively, cosmopolitan city that simply loves seeing Formula 1 roll into town each year. The feeling is mutual. Formula 1 loves Melbourne and the teams always receive an incredibly warm reception from the country’s legions of motorsport fans. Being the season-opener and in relatively close proximity to the Far East, this race also sees its fair share of fans from Asia – and there are many – making the trip to soak up the excitement.
Jules Bianchi, Driver #22
“So much has happened over the past couple of weeks that it’s difficult to get my head around the fact that I am about to begin my Formula 1 racing career in Melbourne next weekend. I guess excitement is the only emotion I’ve had time to experience, there has been so much to do and so many people to meet. Things happen for a reason and I feel confident that we are going to have a very positive season together. There is a nice and positive vibe about the Team and good signs from the work that has been done with the MR02. In the short period of time that I was driving the car in Barcelona last week, I felt very comfortable based on my previous experiences with other F1 cars I have driven, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the first few races.”
Max Chilton, Driver #23
“I can’t wait for Australia and the start of my debut season. The past few weeks of pre-season testing have flown by, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the car working on so many different things that I feel totally prepared for what lies ahead now. We gathered a lot of information with the MR02 in Jerez and Barcelona and at every stage it has been possible to see the benefit of all that learning and development. I hope to continue that in the opening races. I think we have a good car for Melbourne but it is vital that we keep pushing forward. It’s my first time in Australia, so I’m looking forward to the experience of Albert Park and the rest of the city, as I’ve heard so many great things about the place and the atmosphere. It’s going to be quite a weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team
“Although certain aspects of our winter were quite challenging, the overwhelming feeling we take into the Australian Grand Prix is great optimism. In many ways we are in our best shape ever as a Team and everyone is thriving on that and looking forward to what we hope will be a positive 19-race journey ahead. Our new package has performed well in pre-season testing, with encouraging signs in terms of performance and reliability. We also have two very exciting young drivers in the car. Whilst they are both ‘F1’ rookies, their combined depth of experience rising through the ranks in the junior formulae and in F1-supported young driver programmes leaves them well-placed for their debut season. It is still too early to fully appreciate the progress we have made for 2013, as that wide picture has a habit of revealing itself in Melbourne, but we make the long journey there this weekend feeling confident in our direction. ”