Marussia Racing has finally taken the covers off its much-delayed MR01 contender during a 'filming day' at Silverstone.
The Banbury-based outfit had hoped to run the car at last week's Barcelona group test, but it failed the mandatory FIA crash tests needed to permit participation, leaving Timo Glock and rookie Charles Pic with precious little time to get used to the machine prior to next weekend's Australian Grand Prix.
It has not yet been officially confirmed whether the car has successfully passed all 18 of the necessary crash tests, but compliance is not required for a promotional day, thereby allowing the team to run the MR01 at Silverstone.
The initial photograph of the car, issued by Marussia prior to it taking to the track, appears to show a front end treatment similar to that of the McLaren - the only car not to have featured a stepped nose concept among the ten machines launched so far. Marussia's decision comes as less of a surprise, however, considering that it now enjoys a new technical collaboration with the Woking giant.
The MR01 breaks from recent Virgin/Marussia designs in not being conceived entirely using CFD following the team's split with Nick Wirth last season. The new car has been penned in house under the guidance of former Renault engineering director Pat Symonds.
Only HRT has yet to unveil its 2012 challenger, although the car is expected to hit the track for the first time during a 'filming day' at the Circuit of Catalunya today [5 March].