Marussia will not rest on its laurels
Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon says the memory of heartbreak in 2012 will keep the team "pushing all season" after recording its first points finish in Monaco.
Marussia had not scored a point since joining F1 as Virgin Racing in 2010, but Jules Bianchi's ninth in Monaco ended the team's long wait. The team's performance in the Barcelona test prior to Monaco showed a significant step forward and the result suggests Marussia can live up to its promise of challenging Sauber this season.
But Lowdon remembers what happened in the 2012 finale, when Caterham's Vitaly Petrov passed Charles Pic in the dying laps in Brazil to rob Marussia of 11th place in the championship, and he says that memory will spur the team on to build on its success in Monaco.
"It's a long season and we need to keep on pushing all season," he said. "You just have to look at the last few laps of 2012 we lost 10th place in the championship and could have significantly changed the financial future of the team. The result is recognition that we have improved the car but we have improved it, this wasn't just a lucky result and that's probably more important than anything.
Lowdon believes the result is proof the team is making the most of its limited resources.
"People say 'well why do you celebrate a top ten finish?' Well you celebrate it because it's not an easy thing, it's taken five years for one of the teams to do it ... it's just a reflection of how tough this game is.
"What this result basically means for us is progress. We haven't won a race but it's progress. What's nice in a small team is every single person knows that they've contributed to that progress. There's no padding, we have departments of one person so they know that they have delivered something that contributes to the result."
It was a tense race for Marussia, with it looking like Bianchi would have to maintain a five-second gap to Romain Grosjean to secure a point due to a penalty. Bianchi was unable to do so but incidents ahead meant he crossed the line eighth, and Lowdon admits the team deserves credit for how it handled the situation.
"It's strange. A grand prix can last for two hours and you wouldn't think that sitting down for two hours could wear you out completely! You've got remember we don't drive the cars, we're middle-aged blokes who sit and watch telly screens and yet you're mentally exhausted.
"I have to say that Dave Greenwood, our chief engineer, is world class, absolutely world class. He is orchestrating things there with everybody else, so it is the ultimate team game at the end of the day. So there's a lot of communication and a lot of pressure and a lot of stress because this is a difficult game. It's not easy."