In the fourth of our team-mates analysis pieces here on JA on F1 we’ve turned the spotlight on the back of the grid and the intriguing youth versus experience duel that took place at Marussia.
Young Frenchman Charles Pic became the vastly experienced Timo Glock’s third different rookie team-mate in as many seasons at the start of the year, the latter eight years older than the 22-year-old GP2 graduate.
Unsurprisingly therefore given their relative experience levels, Glock continued to be Marussia’s lead driver in both name and reality: the German outqualifying Pic 13 times and recording a better race finish on the same number of occasions as well.
However, deeper analysis of the statistics shows Pic ran Glock closer than either of his two predecessors in the role at Marussia managed in 2010-2011. As while Glock’s average qualifying gap over the sister car was one of the largest on the grid – at four tenths of a second – Pic did qualify ahead of the former Toyota driver more times than either Lucas di Grassi (twice) or Jerome D’Ambrosio (five) managed and matched Glock’s best race and Q1 result over the course of the season.
Furthermore, with Pic bearing the brunt of Marussia’s reliability problems (six DNFs for technical reasons to Glock’s one) the three-time GP2 race winner was only shaded 7-5 when both cars made the chequered flag. Indeed, all of Pic’s ‘scores’ in this particular category came from July’s German GP onwards – pointing towards clear signs of continued progression.
Although the budget Pic brings with him no doubt would have played a part in rival Caterham’s decision to sign him on a multi-year deal from 2013, the Leafield team’s principal Cyril Abiteboul said at the time of the announcement that it saw the Frenchman as “a special talent” who “as the year has progressed he has performed extremely well against a very experienced team-mate”.
With the equipment at his disposal in 2012 it’s hard to make a definitive judgement on Pic’s ultimate potential but the statistics show he certainly did a solid job up against the ever-reliable Glock and it will be the kind of relative performance that Marussia’s next rookie through the door, Britain’s Max Chilton, will be judged against in the season to come.
Faster qualifying time: Glock 13 / Pic 6*
Average qualifying gap: –0.401s Glock
Q2 appearances: Glock 0 / Pic 0
Best qualifying result: Glock 19th (USA) / Pic 19th (Abu Dhabi)
Points finishes: Glock 0 / Pic 0
Best finish: Glock 12th (Singapore) / Pic 12th (Brazil)
DNFs: Glock 1 / Pic 6
Higher race finish (including DNFs): Glock 13 / Pic 6*
Ahead in two-car finish: Glock 7 / Pic 5
Final championship placing: Glock 20th / Pic 21st
*Glock didn’t take part in the European GP due to illness