Marussia didn’t start their 2012 campaign off with a bang, failing the final mandatory crash test, excuse the pun. The problem was soon rectified and they advanced upon Australia at the end of March where they qualified at the back of the grid with their new driver pairing of Timo Glock and Charles Pic. The team did qualify at the back of the grid but this was due to the fact that Hispania had qualified outside of the 107% rule and were exempt from the rest of the weekend. They did well in the race though and a 14th for Timo Glock and a 15th for Charles Pic was certainly something to be happy about.
Malaysia brought a standard enough race, not being mentioned much as they brought their cars to 15th (Glock) and 17th (Pic) in the standings. China again saw a straight forward race for the team and they finished with Glock 19th and Pic 20th.
Charles Pic brought Marussia’s first retirement when he was forced to pull into the pits in the middle of the Bahrain Grand Prix with a mechanical failure as Glock went on to finish 19th. Pic would also fail to finish the next two races. In Catalunya, Fernando Alonso was very annoyed with Pic after he held him up into turn 1, which earned Charles a drive through, but while serving the penalty, he pulled into his garage to retire.
Monaco brought an electrical failure after he avoided the Maldonado/de la Rosa crash which came as a result of the Grosjean/Kobayashi pile up. Glock on the other hand, managed to finish 14th and equal his best result so far in the season. Pic finished 20th in Canada while Glock retired for the first time in 2012 with a brakes failure, as did both HRT’s.
Valencia brought a mixed day for the team. Glock failed to start the Grand Prix as he was suffering from food poisoning, but Pic finished in a respectable 15th place.
But a tragic event on the Tuesday before the British Grand Prix left the team shaken. Maria de Villota, the team’s reserve driver, was doing a straight line test at the Duxford aerodrome when she hit a stationary truck and her helmet made contact with the loading board at roughly 60km/h. It took an hour for paramedics to extract her before she was airlifted to hospital. After hours of surgery, she had unfortunately lost her right eye but had thankfully escaped any neurological damage.
The team arrived at Silverstone carrying Maria’s logo on their car as did the rest of the grid. Glock had recovered from his food poisoning and he finished 18th ahead of Pic in 19th, they then finished 22nd and 20th in Germany aswell as 22nd and 21st in Hungary respectively.
The team came back after the mid-season break with a renewed fighting spirit and they started off with a bang. Charles Pic topped the time sheets in the 2nd practice session at Spa-Francorchamps in a feat that can only be admired. They finished the race in 15th (Glock) and 16th (Pic) and went to Monza where Pic once again finished in 16th, trumping Glock in 17th. Timo Glock had a fantastic race in Singapore where he finished in a whopping 12th place, Marussia’s best ever race position while Pic finished 16th, the same place Glock finished in Japan while Pic retired with an engine issue.
Glock finished 18th in Korea while Pic finished 19th, the same place he finished in India where he beat Glock in 20th. Charles Pic was running well at Abu Dhabi before being called into the pits while behind the Safety Car as he was suffering mechanical problems, which proved terminal for his race. Glock on the other hand put in another good race to finish in 14th place.
The inaugural Austin Grand Prix brought big joy to the team and their fans as both Marussia’s out-qualfied both Caterham’s, despite not having KERS equipped on the car, as Caterham did. They dropped down in the race though and Glock got blasted by Vettel for holding him up which allowed Hamilton to catch the reigning World Champion. The stewards though took a different view and chose not to penalize Glock. They finished the race in 19th and 20th for Timo and Charles respectively.
Brazil, the curtain closer, was the team’s best race. Both Glock and Pic were mingling with both Caterham’s as they fought for 10th place in the constructor’s championship. Marussia needed to make sure they either outraced the Caterham’s or made sure the former Lotus team didn’t finish 12th or higher, and they were looking good for it to until Pic, who will be at Caterham in 2013, was overtaken by Vitaly Petrov who took 11th and with it took 10th in the constructor’s championship.
Season in a paragraph:
The team started off with a mediocre season, beating the HRT’s but staying behind the Caterham’s. The entire team was shaken up following Maria de Villota’s crash and it marked a public shift of support for the team who is now amongst one of the most popular on the grid. The mid-season break saw a change in the team, highlighted by Pic leading practice 2 in Spa, which was also their 50th race. 12th at Singapore was a new team best result at the hands of Timo Glock. They proved their worth, out-qualifying the two Caterham’s in Austin, particularly poignant as Marussia don’t run KERS. Brazil was a good race for the team but it was a pity for them to lose a hard-earned 10th place in the constructors.