November 24th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Marussia held on to their 10th place in the 2013 Constructors' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing ahead of rivals Caterham. This is therefore Marussia's most successful season in Formula 1 to date, and the rewards for their achievement are significant.
It's been the goal of Marussia to finish 10th in the Constructor's Championship since they arrived in Formula One named Virgin in 2010. Why tenth? Because only the top ten teams in Formula One receive a share of the prize money at the end of the season.
The reward for finishing tenth is rumoured to be in the region of $10 million, which is a substantial sum of money, particularly for a small team like Marussia. That cash injection will allow for much needed development of their organisation and their 2014 car, and it could not have come at a better time for the young team. With major regulation changes for 2014, Marussia will need to be able to develop next season's car all the way through the year if they hope to be competitive, and development costs money, which they now have, at least to some extent.
Tenth place in the Constructor's Championship was effectively secured by Marussia in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which was just the second race of the 2013 season. In that race, Jules Bianchi finished 13th for Marussia, which was ultimately to be the best result the team had all season. Caterham's strongest result was 14th place, which they achieved three times this season. With no points for either team, their positions in the Constructors' Championship are determined by their best results, which this season results in Marussia coming out on top.
Marussia team principal John Booth described the tension of the final race of the season, and also the team's euphoria at securing the crucial tenth place in the Constructors' Championship:
“Although we have held on to 10th place in the Championship all season, we still had to cross the line at the season finale in order to get the job done. The Brazilian Grand Prix is renowned for being one of the most chaotic races on the calendar and so we needed to have our wits about us throughout the full 71 lap race, especially as there was the constant threat of rain. Although we encountered a few light showers, the way the race eventually panned out meant that no one was going to challenge our position today.
This has certainly been a character-building season. At the beginning we had a clear advantage over Caterham, then we lost some ground during the middle part of the year. Over the final long-haul phase we have pushed extremely hard, caught up and enjoyed some proper racing with them, with our performance in Austin last weekend underlining our continued progress and providing the perfect prelude to the finale here.
"With zero dry running before going to the grid, today was a tough ask of our two young drivers, who have never driven at this circuit before and had to go out there and be on it from lap 1. They were improving at every stage of the race and towards the end, in very damp conditions, Jules was running exceptionally well on the prime tyre and pulling away from Van der Garde.
Credit to the whole Team – both trackside and back at base in Banbury – for an incredibly hard-fought 2013 campaign. Well done to both Jules and Max, who have performed admirably in a tough rookie season, having more than risen to the challenge. Congratulations also to Max for his fantastic record of 19 finishes in 19 races, which is a testament to his skill and the Team’s fantastic reliability record.
"Finally, today’s result is about the whole package, and so credit to our powertrain partners, Cosworth and Xtrac, with whom we have worked for four rewarding seasons, as well as our Team Partners and Suppliers who have shared the journey with us.”