“Marussia launch the MR02”

Marussia chose a low-key effort to reveal their 2013 Formula One entry yesterday.

The Banbury-based Russian squad enter their fourth year in Formula One with aims to lift themselves away from the rear of the field.

A much cleaner design than previous efforts, the MR02 will also see Marussia utilise KERS for the first time – an addition that may give them precious tenths over a lap.

Piloted by GP2 Series graduates Luiz Razia and Max Chilton, the MR02 is also the first Marussia F1 car to be developed utilising conventional windtunnel methods, aided by CFD {note 1}.

Despite persistent rumours of financial difficulties with the team, Marussia F1 President and Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon told Autosport the squad is “…more comfortable now than we have ever been, both on the technical side and the commercial side” {note 2}.
While Lowdon might be outwardly positive, there is widely held belief that the teams recent split with Timo Glock came down to a lack of funding for a paid driver.

In terms of sponsorship the car does appear somewhat bare, although recent days have seen the team extend commercial deals with Sage, while the likes of QNet and LDC (amongst others) remain on board.
Both Razia and Chilton are also believed to bring some not insignificant funding and while both are rookies to F1, they have spent several years rummaging around the lower categories. Indeed between them, Razia and Chilton have entered 165 GP2 Series events, with Razia proving rather more successful in that period.

Admittedly not the most spectacular of drivers, Razia is proven talent with solid race pace who should do well to bring the MR02 home.
“This coming season will be all about rewarding the faith the Team have shown in me. I am looking forward to beginning that process in Jerez where we are testing the MR02 for the first time. I am also looking forward to the first race in Melbourne and I’m excited to be racing alongside Max, who I competed ‘against’ last season.
“This is an important year for the Marussia F1 Team in terms of maintaining the momentum from a very positive 2012 season. I look forward to making a valuable contribution to that.”

Chilton meanwhile has occasionally struggled to put consistently strong races together {note 3}, but the Englishman undoubtedly has stellar qualifying pace. Speaking in December, Chilton commented “…I am very fortunate to have spent the last six races with the Marussia F1 Team as Reserve Driver, which means that instead of a standing start, I am already up to speed and at ease with the people, the culture, the systems and of course, the 2012 package.
“During the period since the Japanese Grand Prix, I have watched at very close quarters the incredible commitment and determination to succeed that saw everyone in the team pushing until the very last race. I feel very lucky to be able to embark on my F1 racing career with this group of people.”

Key personnel:
Team Principal: John Booth
CEO: Andy Webb
President and Sporting Director: Graeme Lowdon
Technical Director: Pat Symonds
Engineering Director: Nikolai Fomenko

{note 1}
Although the team had split with Wirth Research prior to the beginning of the 2012 season, the MR01 was already in its early stages of CFD development when the design team and approach ere dramatically restructured.

{note 2}
Autosport.com, February 5th 2013; http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/105411

{note 3}
In six seasons of competing in British Formula 3 and later in GP2, Chilton won only three times from 124 starts.

© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.
© Marussia F1 Team.

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