JEROME D’Ambrosio was left cursing the race tactics Marussia Virgin Racing went with in Suzuka after finishing in 21st place at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Belgian, in his first year in motor sport’s premier competition, qualified in 20th position on Saturday, one spot above team-mate Timo Glock.
However, it was Glock who finished one place higher in the race yesterday after the former Toyota ace edged in front of D’Ambrosio in the pits on lap 37.
While D’Ambrosio, who will have to wait until the end of the season to discover whether he has done enough to persuade the Dinnington-based outfit to hand him a new contract, was unhappy to finish behind Glock, he insists it was a “positive weekend”.
He said: “I think it was a good race. I had a good start and first part of the race.
“I’m not sure if we went for the best option regarding the strategy, as I lost my position to Timo in the pits, which is a shame. But I came back on him in the end and we had a great fight.”
In one of the early pit stops, Glock claims he lost between four to five seconds on the right rear tyre not being fitted on efficiently. Nonetheless, he overtook D’Ambrosio on the grid after switching to a three-stop strategy and the safety car had departed the track.
Glock said: “I was able to get in front of Jerome but at the end it was quite difficult against all the blue flags and I had a few tough moments. “Anyway, we got both cars home no problem. We have to look at the car set-up again as it was okay, but not magic.”
Sebastian Vettel became the youngest two-time world champion in F1 history despite finishing third.
McLaren’s Jenson Button crossed the chequered flag in first position ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Vettel, who had started on pole. Vettel had previously secured nine wins and finished runner-up on four occasions.
Vettel, who only needed a point to seal the title, is the youngest driver to win back-to-back titles, eclipsing the mark set by Fernando Alonso in 2006.