Paddock magazine December 2014 / January 2015 Issue 70 - Page 71

SEASON REVIEW Jules Bianchi POINTS 2 POSITION IN THE DRIVERS‘ CHAMPIONSHIP 17 WINS 0 PODIUMS 0 POLES 0 RETIREMENTS 2 Caterham were even worse competitively). In April, Marussia’s financial problems began surfacing. The road car company after which the F1 venture is named folded. The management was quick to point out that the Formula 1 team was owned by its Board of Directors and only had a common shareholder with the small Russian car manufacturer (Andrey Cheglakov), so it was not impacted by the dissolution of the Russian Marussia. A few weeks later, however, it became evident that the Formula 1 team was also fighting an impossible battle, having amassed nearly 150 million pounds of losses since entering the sport on a promise of a £40 million budget cap. Despite the doom and gloom off-track, however, in May the team had its brightest moment in Formula 1. Jules Bianchi fought through three different penalties during the Monaco Grand Prix to take P9 at the sport’s most iconic venue. The two points awarded for Bianchi’s brilliant performance in Monaco were Marussia’s first ever in Formula 1. They not only allowed the team to amass an unas- 070 / December 2014 Max Chilton POINTS 0 POSITION IN THE DRIVERS‘ CHAMPIONSHIP 21 WINS 0 PODIUMS 0 POLES 0 RETIREMENTS 3 sailable advantage over Caterham, but also placed Marussia ahead of the struggling Sauber in the Constructors’ standings. If only Marussia had survived until the end of the season, the payout for ninth in the team championship would have been considerable. But it was not meant to be. The beginning of the end came in Japan. Jules Bianchi suffered a horrific crash (for which Marussia’s poorly designed brake-by-wire system was partially at fault) and is still in coma because of the injuries sustained. The team was shaken to the core but still mustered enough strength to show up with Max Chilton’s car for the Russian Grand Prix. Two weeks later, it was all over for Marussia. The team entered administration at the end of October and, after an unsuccessful attempt to find new investors, the staff was made redundant. Marussia will never race again in Formula 1. We can now only pray for Jules Bianchi’s recovery, his fight is more important than any fight on the track or behind the scenes. 71