When it was reported, that Timo Glock wasn't able to take part in the qualifying at Valencia, the German commentators mentioned, that their female test driver couldn't possibly step in, because she does not have a super licence...
Pretty bad stretch for the Marussia camp lately. And I can't help but think this all stems from the lack of in season testing (I know they tested at Mugello). If they had somebody (anybody) that had any mileage in an F1 car as their test driver they would have been able to run two cars at Valencia, and might have avoided the (near) disaster that occurred today in straight-line testing.
The "Test Driver" role has been resigned to little more than the "What can you bring to the table (outside of actually driving)" role.
Please do not consider this a criticism of Villota, but of Marussia for allowing her to be in that position.
No mention of the Maria de Villota accident which surprises me slightly but overall Pat Symonds seems very positive about Marussia's progress this season. He states their wind tunnel updates didn't come in until Silverstone and that the car is much improved since then - which seems odd as its since Silverstone they seem to have started to be out qualified by the HRTs - but is still lacking on high speed circuits which doesn't bode well for the next weekend.
I think the most important thing mentioned in this interview is that they will def be using KERS next year. Williams KERS as a matter of fact. I think this will leap them up a little. Whether it'll be enough to put them level with Caterham I guess we'll have to see
EDIT: Having just gone and checked for something else I've noticed they haven't been out qualified by HRT since Silverstone! I doth my cap to Marussia in apology
Makes you wonder if they have Chilton in mind for the second seat next year. Would be harsh on Pic but then we thought Pic coming in was harsh on D'ambrosio. Some even thought D'ambrosio coming in for Di Grassi was harsh.
Although they change their second driver a lot they do seem to get closer to Glock every year!
I'm pretty positive Max Chilton will end up in an F1 seat at somepoint over the next couple of seasons because he's got good financial backing and has shown a reasonable amount of skill(this season anyways). So thats one Brit to look out for I guess.
The problem is, that second seat at Marussia seems to be a poisoned chalice. It's an F1 seat, but you're at the back of the grid all season and there is a high chance you'll get replaced at the end of it almost regardless of your performances. Perhaps it would be better waiting and trying to get into one of the midfield roles if even as a third driver
I think you're right in someways MCLS about it being a poisioned chalice however I can see why its an attractive prospect for a young driver wanting to break into F1. Basicaly its all about Timo Glock. He's a known quantity amongst the teams so basicaly if a young driver was to come in and out perform Timo all year he'd have built a pretty solid rep to negociate a move up the grid. I mean look what happened when Pic beat Timo a couple of races in a row, he was suddenly linked with the Sauber drive.
So if you were a young driver and you thought all you had to do was beat Timo Glock to secure a future in F1 I think you'd probably snatch at it.
Good points there RasputinLives, although it's more of a gamble, if it goes really well, you're sorted, if it doesn't (like Di Grassi) you're out in the cold. As they say, a seat is better than no seat, although Marussia really do need to start showing signs of improvement pretty sharpish
Marussia make Caterham pay for their lack of development with a pretty strong 12th place at Singapore which moves them into that all important tenth place in the championship. Apparently Glock was so enthusiastic about the upgrades the team have made to the car this weekend he couldn't stop talking about it. The quallifying speed of the cars (just 3 tenths behind the Caterham's) was impressive given the lack of KERs which will be fixed next year with the use of the Williams system.
Yes, we shouldn't understate just how important that result is for Marussia. It is very likely to seal them 10th in the championship which is massive for them in terms of finances for next year and a disaster for Caterham.
Now Marussia have made the transition from the pure CFD approach they appear to be making steady progress and were on the pace of the Caterhams all weekend at Singapore. Next year they have KERS coming, they have the new systems in place for development whereas everything was in turmoil at the end of last year, they should have more money and Pat Symonds can take a more central role in the team. Dare I say that they could establish a clear lead over Caterham in 2013? They certainly have more potential for improvement.
You have to think that with them sitting in tenth in the championship just for once Marussia are preying for a nice normal dry retirement free race in Brazil.
Been very critical of Marussia in the past but have to say they've made real progress this season and deserve their tenth. Maybe with KERS next uear and a decent engine package the year after they can start to cling on to the midfield.
Just read a very interesting article where Marussia say they are almost certain they'll close the gap next year with the improvements on their car and that they'll jump past Caterham with their KERS alone. Pride comes before a fall but have to say have been impressed with them this year and after a dodgy two seasons seem to have got their house in order.
I'd be interested to see how much Timo Glock becomes an ace up the sleeve for them if they do get anywhere near the back of Toro Rosso coz he does seem to come alive when the car is good as we saw in Singapore. You do wonder if the management are that confident whether tgey should ditch the Max Chilton idea and go for Kobi instead.
It would be great if they went for Kobayashi as that's a partnership that could really drive them forward, but I doubt they can afford to pay him.
I'm not so sure that Marussia will overtake Caterham next year, but I certainly expect them to close the gap at least. There aren't any obvious areas where Caterham can find big gains for 2013, they've had a pretty stable time compared to the other new teams, whereas Marussia have a lot of scope for improvement having now made the transition to using the wind tunnel and with the introduction of KERS.
I was pretty disappointed that they missed out on 10th, even though Caterham were quicker than them this year I think it would have been more interesting to see what Marussia could have done with the money.