The three-day test session at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia last week marked the first outing of Cosworth's CA2011k engine that the Williams team will be running throughout 2011, while both Marussia Virgin Racing and HRT continued with the units they employed in 2010.
Cosworth CEO Tim Routsis and general manager Mark Gallagher were both present at Monday's Marussia Virgin launch, with the latter commenting on the satisfactory start to the 2011 campaign. Although neither Rubens Barrichello or rookie Pastor Maldonado were able to break into the top ten times when combined across the four days of running in Spain, Virgin's Timo Glock did so, and there was also encouragement for HRT from F1 returnee Narain Karthikeyan.
“Today's unveiling of the MVR-02 was the second debut of a new Cosworth-powered car this month and it marks another important step for Cosworth en route
to the 2011 season," Gallagher commented, "We had a productive test in Valencia last week with the Williams team, which was the first opportunity that we have had to run
Cosworth's KERS-enabled engine, while both Marussia Virgin Racing and HRT had last year's cars in Valencia last week and Cosworth supported them in acquiring initial data ahead of the coming season."
Virgin's MVR-02 will take to the track at this week's test at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain as Cosworth continues its pre-season preparations in earnest, while its team of on-site engineers will also carry out further evaluation of the CA2011k alongside the Williams KERS system. The launch of the Cosworth-powered MVR-02 comes one week after that of the Williams FW33, which has seen Cosworth work closely with Williams to fully integrate the CA engine with Williams' own KERS system, creating a new version of the 2.4-litre V8 engine to be designated CA2011k.
"Developing the KERS unit has been another example of the excellent technical integration that we enjoy with our teams, in this case adapting the CA to make the best use of the KERS system developed in-house by Williams," Gallagher added, "We were pleased with initial running in Valencia and will continue to work in this positive direction during this week's test in Jerez."
The Marussia Virgin launch also had additional meaning for the engine builder, with the presence on stage of the Cosworth-powered Marussia B1 sports car, the result of a long technical partnership between Marussia Motors and Cosworth. Nikolay Fomenko, president of Marussia Motors and Marussia Virgin Racing's new engineering director, took to the stage to profess the strength of the Marussia-Cosworth relationship in front of an assembled crowd of team partners, international media and F1 fans, while Gallagher acknowledged the two-way benefits.
"The partnership with Marussia Virgin Racing is broad-based and important both in terms of our F1 collaboration, but also with the relationship we share with Marussia on the road car side of the operation," he concluded, "It was good to see the MVR-02 on stage at today's event alongside the Marussia B1, both cars with Cosworth power and engineering."