Marussia has become the ninth team to launch its 2013 F1 machine after showing of the new MR02 at Jerez ahead of the start of the first pre-season test of the year in Spain.
The new machine is described by the team as being a 'comprehensive evolution' of the car that was raced last year by Timo Glock and Charles Pic, and which came close to earning the team tenth place in the championship standings.
Following the split with Wirth Research back in 2011, the MR02 is the first car from the Marussia stable to be designed using a wind tunnel, with the MR01 having been fully designed using CFD before in-season development was carried with the use of McLaren's wind tunnel.
Max Chilton is the only driver so far to be confirmed by the team after the departure of Timo Glock, although Luiz Razia is set to be named as his team-mate in what would be an all-rookie line-up.
“We embark on the first pre-season test of 2013 feeling very positive about our new car - the MR02 - and what lies ahead in this next important chapter in the development of the Marussia F1 Team,” team boss John Booth said. “Whilst we have experienced some changes over the winter, the one area of stability we have enjoyed is the one that is most important to our progression from here, the design of our 2013 race car, led by our Technical Director Pat Symonds.
“The incremental steps we were taking in the latter half of last season gave us the confidence to not only fight hard for tenth place in the Constructors' Championship, but to feel encouraged by our overall design direction, which was the basis for the car we are fielding here in Jerez today.”
The biggest change on the car comes from the fact that it will feature KERS for the first time in a move that takes the Marussia squad in-line with the rest of the field, with Booth confident that the team would now benefit from the 'strategic decision' not to run the device last year in order to focus on other areas of the car.
“We are confident that the MR02 is the product of evolving elements of last year's package whilst integrating the new KERS system,” he said. “It was said many times during 2012 that, notwithstanding the impressive steps we were taking in other areas of our development, KERS - or the lack of it - was the defining factor in determining our position relative to our immediate competitors. KERS was however a 'strategic omission' from our package until now; we opted to place the emphasis on aerodynamics, so that when we were in a position to bring the system to the car, we already had the strongest possible basis and its integration would be relatively straightforward.
“Thus far, this has certainly been the case, as our trackside engineering team have spent the winter refining their tools and preparing for the addition of KERS to ensure we can hit the ground running with effect from this week and use the short period of testing we have to get the car optimised for Melbourne.
“It is early days in our pre-season development programme but there is a great deal of optimism amongst the Team for what lies ahead. With that in mind, we all look forward to seeing the MR02 make its on-track debut later this morning.”