The Frenchman started Sunday’s race in 21st after taking a five-place grid drop for an unscheduled gearbox change. But after a decent start he gradually moved up the order with some hard racing, including a muscular pass on Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi.
After the race, Bianchi was understandably delighted that Marussia’s efforts had finally yielded a tangible reward.
“I am just incredibly happy, but first of all I have to pay credit to everyone at the Marussia F1 Team for making this possible,” he said.
“Nobody knows just how much work and determination goes into our races, so today I am thrilled that I have helped them to achieve their long-held target of our first points. To achieve them together makes me very proud.
“It was not an easy race; there were some enjoyable highs along the way, but also a couple of concerning moments too. What matters at the end is that we got there and we can savour the highlights for a long time to come.”
John Booth, who has been team principal with the Banbury-based squad since their arrival in F1 as Virgin Racing in 2010, echoed Bianchi’s sentiments: “Naturally we are overjoyed at today’s result and it is a fantastic reward for all the hard work and determination, not just this year, but over the past four and a bit seasons,” he said.
“My congratulations to the team here in Monaco, back at base in Banbury and our much newer colleagues at Scuderia Ferrari. Our powertrain partnership is young, but we saw the potential right from the start of the relationship and we are now really starting to see the results of a true integration.
“A lot of this weekend’s clear step stems from the progress we made at the recent Barcelona Test. We were cautiously optimistic about our performance increment, but we really needed to see it translate into a good race here in Monaco before we could feel too confident.
“Clearly, in today’s race, we benefited from some attrition but, throughout, we were running at a pace that allowed us to stay in position with the cars around us. It is clear that we are now able to race with the back of the midfield pack.”
Bianchi might have finished higher than ninth were he not handed two five-second stop-go penalties by the race stewards. The Frenchman earned the first for starting the race from the wrong grid slot and the second for incorrectly serving the first penalty under the safety car. However, Booth said the team could have no complaints with what had happened:
“The penalty situation was a cause for concern and the way in which we served this with Jules was the product of some unusual circumstances, but we understand and accept the decisions. Thankfully, the second penalty was not the determining factor that it could have been.”
Having now got their first points on the board, Booth is hopeful that Marussia can now go from strength to strength, starting at the next race in Canada.
“We are only a young team,” he said, “but we have every reason to believe in ourselves and a positive future.”