Marussia has plenty of decision-making ahead of it

The Marussia F1 team is in no major rush to decide on its 2013 driver line-up or the engine provider it will try and use for the 2014 season, when the new turbo engine regulations kick in.

Along with fellow backmarkers HRT, the Sheffield-based outfit is currently powered by a Cosworth customer engine, but there is speculation that the private engine-maker could pull out of F1 when the new regulations came into effect.

Of particular concern is the cost to build and buy the new-for-2014 engines. In order for it to be a viable income stream for Cosworth, they will need a minimum guaranteed number of three teams on their books – in turn, each of these teams would be stumping up anywhere from $10 to $25 million for the privilege of a year’s supply of customer engines.

“A team like ours will need some help in order to afford something like that,” Marussia F1’s chief executive, Andy Webb told the Russian-language Championat website.

“It’s a difficult decision, because a lot will depend on the financial side.”

Both Marussia and HRT are also the only two teams on the grid not to be running KERS this season. While HRT designed its F112 to be able to accommodate the power-boosting unit, Marussia’s MR-01 challenger wasn’t.

However, the outfit has declared that it will finally bite the bullet and ensure that next year’s engine supply deal also comes with KERS.

While the team sorts out its engine arrangements over the next 18 months, a slightly more pressing matter will be the identity of the driver who will partner Timo Glock in 2013.

Pic has generally had the measure of his more-experienced team-mate GlockThe German has been part of the team’s line-up since 2010, when the new squad made its debut under its then-guise of Virgin Racing.

Money has always played a part in determining his team-mate’s identity, and over the last three seasons he’s had three different team-mates: Lucas di Grassi (2010), Jérôme d’Ambrosio (2011) and Charles Pic (2012).

While Glock was comfortably quicker than di Grassi two years ago, he’s been given a much harder time by d’Ambrosio and Pic, and his performances have been decidedly underwhelming of late.

Webb added that such a decision on the team’s driver line-up won’t come until “the end of the season”, he did indicate that the team was impressed with the performances of 22-year-old Pic.

“We are constantly studying the situation with the drivers, but I will say that we are happy with Charles,” he said.

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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.