Two days later than planned, Marussia finally managed to get its new Ferrari-powered MR03 out on track on the penultimate day of the first pre-season test at Jerez.
The Banbury-based outfit had planned to give its new car a full four days’ running in the first of three four-day test sessions, but a technical issue detected during the final stages of the car’s preparation at its headquarters led to a delay in it being shipped to the Spanish circuit.
Further delays on the Thursday meant that the car didn’t hit the track until late in the afternoon, with Max Chilton giving the car its first on-track outing.
Following the trend set by most of this year’s field, the MR03 sports the unsightly ‘proboscis’ nose concept. The car’s overall shape bares a number of resemblances to its 2013 predecessor – although with a more tightly packaged rear end – although it does ultimately appear rather conservative, particularly with respect to cooling.
“Through the course of 2012, we analysed every single element of the car – from the tip of the nose to the trailing edge of the rear wing – knowing just how radically different the MR03 would be under such sweeping Technical Regulations,” the team’s chief designer, John McQuillam said.
“"We have benefitted enormously from the stability of our design teams, with the same personnel beginning – and now concluding – the process over a 24 month period. I think we can feel justifiably proud of the way we have responded to such a significant challenge and the quality of car we have arrived at with the MR03.
“The car has been manufactured and finished to a very high standard, whilst achieving our most significant weight-saving targets to date and with a crucial eye towards maintaining our excellent record of reliability.”
Image via Motorsport.com