The Marussia F1 team has confirmed the widely-expected news that it has struck a long-term deal with Ferrari for a customer supply of the Italian outfit’s complete powertrain for 2014 and beyond.
The Anglo-Russian team will use Ferrari’s engine, energy recovery system, full transmission and ancillaries when Formula 1’s new turbo engine regulations come into play next season.
Since its debut as Virgin Racing in 2010, the team has been powered by Cosworth engines, but with the sport’s switch to the new powerplant regulations, the English engine-builder’s hand was effectively forced. Without a decent-sized customer base, it confirmed it would leave the sport at the end of 2013, forcing Marussia to explore a new engine deal.
The team ultimately managed to secure a deal with Ferrari, with the team already running the Italian team’s protégé, Jules Bianchi, in its race line-up.
Marussia’s Ferrari engine deal won’t affect the team’s multi-year technical partnership with McLaren, which involves the use of the Woking team’s wind tunnel and simulators.
“Not only will we benefit from a customer supply from the most successful engine manufacturer in Formula 1’s history, but this also provides further confirmation, if it were needed, of our commitment to the sport and determination to maintain our progression towards our long-term ambitions,” Marussia F1 CEO Andy Webb said.
“The importance of this development to our team cannot be overstated.”
The statement itself is particularly telling, and underscores the outfit’s intentions – despite speculation to the contrary – that it intends to remain in the sport long-term.
But what is not stacked in its favour is a clear signal from Formula One Management as to its position on how the eleventh-placed team in the sport will be part-funded. Given that Marussia is almost certain to beat Caterham to tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship this year, the position of F1 cellar dweller will become the concern of a larger outfit.