Marussia launched its MR01 challenger at Silverstone

Marussia Racing has taken the covers off its 2012 challenger, the MR01, and given the car a brief shakedown run at Silverstone before the team packs up and heads to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.

The launch of the new car was significantly delayed when it failed the FIA mandatory crash test, leaving the team with the frantic job of restrengthening the monocoque in time for another crash test. The delays meant that it was unable to run the new car at last week’s final pre-season test at Barcelona.

The Cosworth-powered MR01 is a completely new design after the team’s failed attempt – under its previous Virgin Racing guise – of running designs that had been conceptualised completely from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and without the use of a windtunnel.

With assistance from technical consultant Pat Symonds and with its technical collaboration with McLaren Applied Technologies has seen it come up with this brand new look.

Marussia MR01

Sporting Marussia’s traditional red and black colour scheme, the Cosworth-powered car is not equipped with KERS.

Not surprisingly – given its collaboration with McLaren – the MR01 is just the second car on this year’s grid not to sport the unsightly ‘platypus’ stepped nose, a design feature that has been adopted almost universally under the sport’s new rules that have dictated that the nosecone must be positioned lower on the chassis.

“It has been a long and frustrating wait for everyone in the team but we can now get back on track – literally – and start working towards the first race of the season in Australia next weekend,” said Marussia team principal John Booth.

Drivers Timo Glock and Charles Pic each got behind the wheel in short shakedown runs on demonstration Pirelli tyres. They won’t be able to perform any meaningful running until first practice at Albert Park next Friday.

Even so, it’s running is not guaranteed as the updated car is still to pass the second crash test, which it will schedule with the FIA before decamping and travelling to Melbourne.

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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.