A New Car. A New Philosophy.
Monday 5 March 2012, 10.30 GMT
The MR01, the Marussia F1 Team’s contender for the 2012 season, has made its on-track debut. The Anglo-Russian team is running its new car for the first time today at Silverstone in the UK for a promotional event ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next weekend.
The MR01 is the product of a ground-up re-evaluation of the way the team designs its racing cars. As such, the car is almost entirely ‘new’ with very few carryover components from last year’s MVR-02. This presented the design team, led by Technical Consultant Pat Symonds, with the challenge of going back to basics to produce a solid mechanical package, whilst maintaining an eye towards achieving the incremental performance steps required to move the team forward.
People and Resources
The starting point for the MR01 design programme was a consideration of the Marussia F1 Team’s people and resources. The former three-base operation has been consolidated into one site, the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury, bringing the various elements of the business together to form ‘one team’. In particular, the design department and practices now benefit from far greater integration and collaboration. Furthermore, the aerodynamic department has been completely restructured and the aero methodology reinforced, blurring the boundaries between CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and experimental work in the wind tunnel, as well as enhancing the fidelity of the team’s aero approach.
The technical partnership forged with McLaren Applied Technologies in July of last year has been influential in the process and the relationship is starting to yield benefit as the advanced facilities that the Marussia F1 Team has access to have been used to prove the correlation process with the MVR-02. It is however early in the relationship and the MR01 will become a beneficiary of the relationship in due course.
The key design priorities were to address previous aerodynamic deficiencies and, mechanically, achieve greater weight saving. At the same time a lot of the detail of the car has been refined and the design team have been a little more adventurous than before, stepping closer to the engineering boundaries. The car can best be described as a significant evolution of its predecessors.
Timo Glock commences his third season with the team, providing the all-important element of continuity required to keep moving the package forward. Timo is joined by Frenchman Charles Pic, who embarks on his rookie year in Formula One, having made the step up from GP2. Despite his 22 years of age, Charles has been racing in single-seater formulae for six years and has won races at every level.
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team, commented:
“We are very pleased to be running the new MR01 for the first time this morning. 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. Today is the first of two promotional events, so while the drivers will be able to get a feel for the car, they won’t be able to draw any real conclusions until we start running in anger in Melbourne. Nevertheless, this is an important day for us and we’ll enjoy every minute on track with the new car.”
Marussia F1 Team drivers Timo Glock and Charles Pic will each enjoy some track time with the car over the next two days, albeit with the car running on demonstration tyres as opposed to the Pirelli P-Zero 2012 season performance tyres.