The 9th team to launch their 2013 car was Marussia who unveiled the MR02 ahead of the first test in Jerez starting today.
Featuring a new livery, KERS and a Coanda exhast system, technical director Pat Symonds said that the car was an ‘evolution’ of last years car and hopes to take advantage of a technical partnership with McLaren that allows the team use of the the Woking based squads simulator and wind tunnel.
Team boss John Booth said the team was excited for the season ahead and thinks the team has what it takes to challenge rivals Caterham for 10th in the Championship.
“We embark on the first pre-season test of 2013 feeling very positive about our new car – the MR02 – and what lies ahead in this next important chapter in the development of the Marussia F1 Team,” he said. “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. The incremental steps we were taking in the latter half of last season gave us the confidence to not only fight hard for 10th place in the constructors’ championship, but to feel encouraged by our overall design direction, which was the basis for the car we are fielding here in Jerez today.”
New signing Max Chilton was the only one present at the launch, with the team taking a similar approach to Force India in not announcing their second driver for the 2013 season just yet. Booth would not give any information in regards to Chilton’s possible team-mate, after Timo Glock was ‘stood down’ at the team last week.
“There are lots of considerations. It’s a complex business, Formula One, all the way from designing a wheel nut to deciding on a driver,” Booth said.
Booth continued to explain the features of the MR02, and was excited to be using KERS for the first time in teams history.
“We are confident that the MR02 is the product of evolving elements of last year’s package whilst integrating the new KERS system,” he said. “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.”
It is rumoured that both Vitaly Petrov and Luiz Razia are strong contenders for the second seat at the team, with money playing a clear factor in a team that is struggling to stay alive in this tough economic climate.
(Images copyright Marussia)