JULY 16, 2013
Marussia duo half a second slower than Alonso
Pat Symonds has admitted a top driver could add more than half a second per lap to the pace of backmarker Marussia's 2013 car.
The Briton, who was a leading technical figure during Fernando Alonso's championship winning days at Renault, admitted Marussia's rookie drivers are not the ideal solution.
Asked what Marussia's situation would be if Sebastian Vettel or Alonso were at the wheel, the team's technical boss Symonds admitted: "Of course we would be closer.
"At Renault, we discussed at length Fernando's contribution to the laptime," he told Auto Motor und Sport, "because he is very expensive.
"But our feeling was that Fernando is worth half a second compared to a normal driver.
"Compared to our drivers, it's perhaps a little more than that, simply because they lack experience.
"Our hands are tied," Symonds concluded. "We need to have drivers who also bring money."
Marussia's drivers are the Ferrari-linked Frenchman Jules Bianchi, and Max Chilton, the son of the insurance firm Aon's millionaire chairman.