Marussia says its 11th hour heartache from 2012 meant it could not relax about taking 10th in the constructors’ championship until after the checkered flag in Brazil.
The squad headed to the final race of the season ahead of rival Caterham in the fight for 10th spot. But having been in a similar situation last year only to see it lose out just five laps from home thanks to a chaotic rain-hit race, it knew that there was a risk of a repeat this time out.
In the end, despite the threat of showers, the Brazilian GP passed without much incident and Caterham was unable to get the 13th position it needed to deny Marussia.
Graeme Lowdon, Marussia’s sporting director, said it was alert to the dangers in Brazil, but he felt the right team had come out on top.
“It is not necessarily nerves, it is just a question of having appreciation of what can happen because we worked so hard this year, but we also worked hard last year,” he said. “Five laps from the end last year, we lost it, and that was quite difficult because it meant there was no sporting reward for all of the effort.It was great this year for all the guys both here and back at Banbury [the team’s UK factory] to finally see the progress.”
Lowdon believes that Marussia has shown this year that although it still needs to produce a quicker car, its performance on race weekends is something to be proud of.
“We know that the raw speed was not in the car and it takes time and a lot of money to get there, but we are confident we will get there,” he said. “We have been able to demonstrate that we can run a really good race team and I take my hat off to our guys in terms of their approach to strategy and team work.
“For example, their pit stops were excellent, and we beat a lot of teams who have been in this game a lot longer. It all bodes well, and we are happy with the way the 2014 program is going. That gives us some confidence.
“The key thing to take home from here is progress and that has been elusive up to now. There is no change in the amount of work going in, as that has been maximum since we started. But now there is a little bit of reward there as well and that is really nice for everyone.”