Marussia launches MR02 on opening day of pre-season testing

Marussia MR02

This is the new Marussia MR02 that will contest in this season’s Formula 1 World Championship. The new car was unveiled to the world’s press at the dawn of the first official day of pre-season testing at Jerez.

The MR02 is the first true product of the team’s revamped technical structure, following its mid-2011 decision to split with Wirth Research and the all-CFD philosophy.

The result means that the car has been developed in-house using the far more traditional method of a windtunnel. It is also their first car to feature the Kinetic Energy Recovery System.

Marussia hopes the MR02 will mark a step forward in terms of competitiveness as the team are still seeking for their first points finish.

MR02 side

“Whilst we have experienced some changes over the winter, the one area of stability we have enjoyed is the one that is most important to our progression from here, the design of our 2013 race car, led by our technical director Pat Symonds,” said team principal John Booth.

“We are confident that the MR02 is the product of evolving elements of last year’s package whilst integrating the new KERS system.

“It was said many times during 2012 that, notwithstanding the impressive steps we were taking in other areas of our development, KERS – or the lack of it – was the defining factor in determining our position relative to our immediate competitors.

“KERS was however a ‘strategic omission’ from our package until now; we opted to place the emphasis on aerodynamics, so that when we were in a position to bring the system to the car, we already had the strongest possible basis and its integration would be relatively straightforward.

“Thus far, this has certainly been the case, as our trackside engineering team have spent the winter refining their tools and preparing for the addition of KERS to ensure we can hit the ground running with effect from this week and use the short period of testing we have to get the car optimised for Melbourne.”

MR02 front

Even before pre-season testing has begun, the team was forced to release lead driver Timo Glock for financial reasons.

GP2 graduate Max Chilton is the only driver signed so far, with fellow rookie Luiz Razia as the favourite to take the second race seat at Marussia.

3 thoughts to “Marussia launches MR02 on opening day of pre-season testing”

  1. Marussia’s new MR02 Formula 1 car is a “massive” technical step forward, according to team boss John Booth, but the squad is trying to keep its expectations in check.

    The 2013 design is the first created completely under Marussia’s revised technical structure, under which it has taken its technical programme entirely in-house using the facilities of its former partner Wirth Research.

    As part of this change, it also began using windtunnel technology, eschewing its formative all-CFD philosophy.

    “I think it is our first real baby,” Booth told AUTOSPORT as the MR02 was unveiled.

    “In my ‘400 years’ of motorsport I’ve learned to not have too many expectations.

    “Technically it is a massive step forward, performance wise we will just have to wait and see.”

    Pat Symonds is now able to move fully into the role of Marussia technical chief, having previously served as a consultant during his ban from F1 for his involvement in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix Renault crash scandal.

    “We have our technical director at the circuit now which is a good step for us as well,” said Booth. “It is three years since Pat has been at a circuit but it is like he has never been away.”

    Booth admitted that even with its new technical approach, Marussia is still firmly an underdog, but he hopes the team can start progressing up the grid this season.

    “We are not kidding ourselves, F1 is pretty tricky and we’ve turned this car out with 165 people – and we should be really proud of that,” he said.

    “But we shouldn’t put our expectations against Red Bull, who have 500 people and four times the budget.

    “It’s same as I have said for three years. The target is to get into Q2 on merit, and then you can really start playing from there – and going for points.”

    He also denied that potentially having an all-rookie driver line-up would be a problem following Timo Glock’s departure.

    Luiz Razia is favourite to join fellow GP2 graduate Max Chilton, though no deal has been completed so far.

    “It is not as it was 10 or 15 years ago,” said Booth. “The young drivers start when they are six years old in karting, and [Chilton] has had two years of GP2, three or four years of F3. He is a novice to F1 but not a novice driver.”


  2. The team are in ‘best ever’ finance shape for the upcoming Formula 1 season. has the news story.

    Marussia boss Graeme Lowdon says his team is financially “more comfortable than ever” ahead of the start of the 2013 Formula 1 season.

    Although the Banbury-based outfit lost the crucial 10th position in the constructors’ championship to Caterham in the final race of the 2012 season, Lowdon says there are sponsorship deals in place that are making the team’s future secure.

    Last month, Marussia parted company with Timo Glock despite having a contract for the season ahead, suggesting that commercial factors had forced it to let the German go.

    Marussia unveiled its 2013 challenger on Tuesday, and despite the lack of sponsors on the car, Lowdon insisted the team is in good shape.

    “The worry would be if it was all filled with the same name,” Lowdon told AUTOSPORT regarding the lack of sponsors.

    “Certainly you’ll see some names coming on the car over the next few weeks and onto the season as well.

    “We are more comfortable now than we have ever been, both on the technical side and the commercial side.

    “If you remember, we didn’t do pre-season testing with the new car last year, so it’s quite nice to be a bit further ahead this year.”

    Lowdon also suggested that losing 10th place in the standings has not have a huge impact on the team.

    “If you look at the revenue mix for our team it has always been dominated by sponsorship, and the percentage we get from the commercial rights holder is relatively small,” he said.

    “There’s no Concorde [Agreement] at the moment so we don’t know what the commercial terms are going to be. It’s a smaller part of the stream. We are yet to see what will unfold this year.”

    The Marussia boss confirmed his team is also yet to receive an offer for a new Concorde Agreement, but said it was still in discussions that could lead to one.

    “We don’t have a bilateral agreement in place. I understand the other teams do. We currently don’t have one, but we are in discussions about the new commercial agreement.

    “We are in a discussion with the commercial rights holder, and my guess is it could end up in a Concorde Agreement as opposed to a bilateral agreement. It wouldn’t make too much difference to how we proceed in pre-season testing or anything like that.”

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