Suzuka International Racing Course
Sunday 27 September 2015
ROSSI │ Chassis 03 P18 1:41.467
STEVENS │ Chassis 02 P19 1:41.452
The Manor Marussia F1 Team notched up its tenth two-car finish of the season today in the 2015 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. On a relatively attrition-free day, in which all 20 cars were classified, Alexander Rossi ended the 53 lap race in 18th position, ahead of his team-mate Will Stevens in 19th place, and in a reversal of their starting positions.
It was not an entirely straightforward race for the team. Will was having to push hard to keep the advancing American behind and at his second pit stop was found to have exceeded the pit lane speed limit. A short time later, on lap 42, he spun in dramatic fashion, then pulled off an impressive save, but he ended up at a 180 degree angle across the track. Alex was only tenths of a second in his wake but took equally impressive evasive action, narrowly avoiding a collision. Will was forced to pit for a third time, as the spin had destroyed his tyres, and the team took this opportunity to serve his 5-second time penalty. The combination of events handed Alex the advantage for a second successive race.
John Booth, Team Principal
ďTodayís race was progressing in a fairly straightforward fashion for us, largely defined by a continuation of the developing intra-team battle between Will and Alex that has kept us very much on the edge of our seats over the last two races. In the closing stages, we experienced a brief heart-stopping moment when Will lost the back of the car at 130R and spun into the path of his team-mate. Credit to them both for their impressive reactions; Will did well to collect the car without leaving the asphalt, while Alexís lightning response ensured there was no contact. There were sharp intakes of breath all round up on the pit wall, but allís well that ends well and we are pleased to achieve our tenth two-car finish of the season. A good job all round today, and indeed all weekend, after an emotional return to Suzuka for our team.Ē
Alexander Rossi #53
ďIt was a tough race today but Iím very happy with the outcome. I struggled a little more in the first stint, but after the first stop everything turned around and my pace was pretty good. I was right on the tail of my team-mate throughout the second two stints, and was trying to get past when Will spun. Thankfully, I was able to get out of the way, but it was a real heart-in-mouth moment that Iím sure looked every bit as dramatic from outside the cockpit as it did from where I was sitting! All in all, Iím pleased with how things are going after two races and glad we had a good race after a difficult weekend.Ē
Will Stevens #28
ďIt goes without saying that Iím disappointed with the result today. I felt I was in control up until the point of the penalty and then the spin, and thatís where I lost the advantage. Itís a shame, as my pace was strong all weekend, so thatís what Iím focusing on and Iím looking forward to getting things back on track in Russia. Iím pleased for what is a good team result though, and that is what we were targeting here.Ē