Marussia delays new car until final test
24 January 2012 – Marussia will not introduce its new car until the final pre-season test in Barcelona, GPUpdate.net has been told. Furthermore, the squad has revealed that its plans have changed and that it will no longer be attending the first winter gathering in Jerez.
This year’s car is an all-new project, as 2012 marks the first time that the Marussia (formerly Virgin) contender is not designed solely with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) technology; instead, the team is now using a wind tunnel and running in a technical partnership with McLaren.
“We have taken the decision today that we will not attend the first test in Jerez, taking place from 7-10 February,” Team Principal John Booth told GPUpdate.net. “We had been looking to take part in that test with the 2011 MVR-02 for the purpose of providing Charles (Pic) with some valuable running to assist with the preparation for his debut season. This was with a view to introducing the new car, the MR01, at Barcelona two weeks later.
“As our Technical Consultant Pat Symonds has stated publicly, the MR01 will be almost entirely 'new', with very little carryover from 2011. The new car also has some interesting and complex mechanical concepts and it is taking time for us to get to grips with these.
“Unfortunately our programme has slipped and there seems little point in fielding the new car before we can optimise the run plan for it. For that reason we have decided to commence our on-track testing by attending the second test in Barcelona with the MVR-02. We then aim to introduce the MR01 at the third test in Barcelona on 1 March.”
Booth stresses that, under the current circumstances, the revised schedule is most practical.
“Whilst this is not ideal, and not the timescale we had intended to work to, we will at least get some important running with the new car ahead of Australia and hopefully gain more constructive track time than we might otherwise have achieved, had we rushed the car out for the second test,” he concluded.
Alongside the aforementioned Pic will be Timo Glock, for his third consecutive F1 campaign with the team. Also confirmed on Tuesday was the news that 2011 Marussia driver Jérôme d’Ambrosio has become the reserve pilot of LRGP.