Having been satisfied with the performance gains exhibited by its revised MR-01 package in the recent British Grand Prix, the Marussia F1 team believes that it can tease even more out of the aerodynamic updates at Hockenheim this weekend.
The Banbury-based backmarker arrived at its home race at Silverstone with a first major overhaul conceived and developed using conventional wind tunnel methods - rather than the entirely CFD-based concept trialled via its first two cars - and found it provided sufficient improvement to qualify and race ahead of nearest rival HRT, which hasn't always been the case in 2012. Despite achieving that step, however, the team reckons that there is still more potential to unlock at round ten on the campaign, in Germany.
“This weekend, we're looking forward to exploring more of the potential of the significant aerodynamic upgrade package we debuted at Silverstone two weeks ago," team principal John Booth confirmed, "We had a solid race, but there were some flashes of even greater promise during the course of the weekend that we were unable to bring to fruition due to the weather."
With the German Grand Prix now alternating between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, Marussia will have to go back two years for meaningful data ahead of the weekend, but Booth is hopeful that the team can confirm its progress before the season heads into its summer break at the end of July.
“We are all looking forward to heading back to the Hockenheimring for the first time since our debut season of F1 competition in 2010," he said, "This is our third 'home' event in succession, coming off the back of the British Grand Prix on our factory doorstep and then last weekend's demonstration event in Russia. Next, it's Timo [Glock]'s home race, and we can expect to see a lot of support for him, and for the team. That will provide a big boost for him I'm sure, as it's always a special feeling to have your home crowd rooting for you.
“It's hard to believe that we have arrived at the midpoint of the season; the first six months have passed by so quickly. This is the first of two back-to-back races that take us to the summer break, when everyone in the team will be able to enjoy a well-deserved break, so it would be nice to see some really positive steps over these two races and end this leg of the season on a high note.”
After missing the European Grand Prix with a stomach complaint, Glock returned to the fray at Silverstone, finishing 18th overall. While not expecting miracles for his home event, the German is looking forward to performing in front of his home crowd.
“Every time this race is great for me," the veteran claimed, "We saw the support the team had two weeks ago at the British Grand Prix and also the British drivers like Lewis [Hamilton] and Jenson [Button]. With five different German drivers, there is plenty for the fans back home to support, and it will be a very special weekend for me, taking place just 30 minutes from my family home.
"I have achieved some good results in this race in the past and it is always good to have some friends and family around me to share the experience. I hope the weather will be good for us and, basically, I'm just counting the days now until the weekend can begin. I think we made a good start with our new package in Silverstone two weeks ago and I hope we will see a further small step with it.”
Rookie team-mate Charles Pic has driven at Hockenheim before, but never in an F1 car, although he still has good memories of the circuit.
"I have raced at the Hockenheimring once before, in 2010 in GP2, and I secured pole position and finished on the podium in 3rd place," he recalled, “I'm eager to get back in the [Marussia] car after the positive signs we saw with our new aero upgrade at Silverstone. It was clear that there is still plenty more we can extract from it and I hope to continue this progress at the weekend."