Ninth place for Jules Bianchi in Monaco saw Marussia score their first F1 points
Team move above Sauber in the Constructors' Championship
By William Esler
Last Updated: 26/05/14 9:04am
Nico Rosberg may have won the race for Mercedes, but the celebrations were arguably more ecstatic at the other end of the Monte Carlo pitlane as the minnows finally registered points in the Constructors' Championship in what was their 83rd grand prix since entering the sport as Virgin Racing in 2010.
The result was all the more remarkable given that the day had started with a gearbox change for Bianchi which resulted in a grid penalty, followed by further punishment from the stewards for starting in the wrong grid position after Lotus' Pastor Maldonado failed to get away on the formation lap.
The resultant five second stop/go penalty would continue to hang over the Frenchman even after he had crossed the line as he had served it whilst the Safety Car had been deployed, hence eighth became ninth in the final classification.
"We have been waiting for this for a long and now that we have done it I am so proud of the team. They did a really good job and I am really happy to give them the result," a beaming Bianchi told Sky Sports F1.
"It was really stressful for me in the car and I guess it was for the team as well as we had some penalties, so I was lucky to finish in the points. I cannot say anymore, it is just amazing.
"I don't really know why I had the penalty. The first one I knew was because [Esteban] Gutierrez stopped in a position forward and Max [Chilton] did the same and when I saw that I wanted to do the same. But then I stopped and I was just in the same line as [Kamui] Kobayashi, which was not my line anyway so it was definitely a mistake. But the second one I do not know why."
Marussia were born out of junior formula squad Manor Motorsport and having enjoyed success in various feeder categories over the years, Team Principal John Booth was delighted to finally get off the mark at the pinnacle of motorsport - even if he was disappointed it was ninth rather than eighth.
"The five-second penalty dropped us behind Grosjean which is a shame, but we are absolutely over the moon, it has been a long five years to get this," Booth said.
"We thought getting the tenth place [in the Constructors' Championship] in Brazil was a big party - just wait until tonight."
One of the highlights and key moments of Bianchi's drive was a forceful move on Kobayashi at Rascasse which delighted his boss.
"It always throws up something here whether it be a bit of rain whenever you don't want or whatever but we capitalised on it fantastically," he added.
"And what an overtaking manoeuvre it was from Jules on Kobayashi that was stunning."
The five second stop/go penalty which can be served during a pitstop is a new rule for 2014 and Marussia Sporting Director and President Graeme Lowdon explained that the team were unsure of the regulations and hence aired on the side of caution even if it did mean taking a double hit.
"It was really, really difficult because we were planning the stop then through no fault of our own there was a Safety Car, but we still had to stop," he said.
"So we took the penalty anyway as we thought we would cover that base as the rules are a little bit unclear on that, but we just thought if we stop we will just take penalties and keep going because we could see that maybe this race was our opportunity."
The two points for ninth moves Marussia above Sauber in the Constructors' Championship, but ever the racer Booth is not satisfied yet.
"Eighth," was his response to Sky F1's Anthony Davidson when asked where the team go next.
The Banbury-based team would need at least another seven points to move ahead of Toro Rosso, but the result should ensure the team secure a portion of F1's end of season prize money and help protect their future.