At the eighth and final round of the 2011 GP3 Series Championship at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy, Marussia Manor Racing ended the season in 3rd position after Rio Haryanto’s double podium finish this weekend and Adrian’s 6th position in today’s race.
The weekend got off to a good start in Italy for Marussia Manor Racing as Adrian Quaife-Hobbs showed early pace in both Practice sessions on Friday. He finished 2nd in the morning and 3rd in the afternoon, always within 0.1s from the fastest time. Rio and Matias also got to grips with the high-speed full, throttle track.
On Saturday Adrian took his second pole position of the season in the final seconds of the Qualifying session, finishing only 0.062s ahead of Nico Muller. Rio led the first part of the session but was finally bumped down to 3rd. Matias was classified in 20th position, 1s away from Adrian’s fastest timed lap.
With two drivers in the first three positions, it looked like a promising first race for Marussia Manor Racing. Adrian got off to a good start and stayed in the lead. Rio lost a position at the start but soon made a move passing Valteri Bottas for 3rd. Muller then snatched the lead from Adrian who, on lap 10, made a mistake at Ascari and hit the wall and the Safety Car was deployed. At the restart, with only 3 laps to go, Rio and Muller battled hard for the final podium place and it was finally the Marussia Manor Racing driver who grabbed it. Matias finished in 20th position.
In today’s race, the last of the season, Rio and Adrian drove excellent races. After yesterday’s crash, Adrian started from 24th position but after some brilliant moves he finished 6th and achieved a valuable point. Rio started the race 6th and was fighting for another podium finish during the whole race, to end 2nd. Unfortunately, Matias didn’t finish the race because of a flat tyre.
Pete Sliwinski, Team Principal
“What a great way to end the season! Today’s race was real racing. We had the pace during the whole weekend and it was great to watch Rio and Adrian fight so hard and perform great moves on track. This is what it’s all about! I’m very happy to have seen Rio on the podium on two occasions this weekend. The team have done an excellent job this season and it was a shame that the good results didn’t start coming earlier. We had to wait until the third race of the season for our first win, so we knew it was going to be difficult to win the Championship but we never stopped trying and at the end of the season the good results haven’t stopped coming our way. So overall I’m pleased with this season and I want to congratulate the whole team. Congratulations also to Adrian who of course wins the prize of an F1 test with Marussia Virgin Racing in Abu Dhabi.””
“I really didn’t expect to finish in the points today after starting from so far back on the grid, so it was a good race – and I did it with a broken front wing as well! A good result for me and the team. I finish 4th in the Championship, which is a great result, and now I just can’t wait to get to Abu Dhabi where I will be testing the MVR-02.”
“It has been a very positive weekend for me – one I won’t forget! To be on the podium on both Saturday and Sunday is such a great result, I’m very happy with this weekend. We have worked hard this season and results like this are the reward. The team has done a very good job and I want to thank everyone for an excellent weekend.”
“What a shame to end the season without being able to finish the race. It’s disappointing, but I’m happy because the team has finished third in the Championship. We deserve it. We have worked hard and I want to thank the team for all their hard work – I have really learned a lot this year.”