Marussia Racing will delay launching its 2012 challenger, the MR01

Marussia Racing has confirmed that it’s new car, dubbed the MR01, won’t be ready until the final pre-season test at Barcelona, and that it will also be missing from action at the first test session at Jerez.

After two years spent (under its previous Virgin Racing guise) trying and failing to prove that an all-CFD design could compete with other cars that see the inside of a windtunnel, the team has now entered into a technical collaboration with McLaren in its quest to move off the last two rows of the grid.

John Booth“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 (pictured) has confirmed.

“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.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

The decision will allow the team to invest all of its resources into readying its 2012 challenger, rather than splitting its workforce between two programmes.

“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,” Booth added.

[Images via LAT and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.