9 February 2013
Marussia encouraged despite Jerez niggles
Marussia team principal John Booth has taken confidence from the four days at Jerez, where his rookie squad put nearly 1000km on the new MR02.
The Marussia team made little secret of the fact that it was entering the 2013 F1 season with an all-new car, so niggling problems in testing at Jerez would not have been unexpected, but team boss John Booth admits that he is happy with the progress made over the four days.
The British team will field two rookie drivers in Luiz Razia and Max Chilton this season, and the pair duly filled the final two spots on the combined timesheets after both running into problems during the test, but Booth explained that it was better to suffer now than when the season kicked off for real in Melbourne next month – and pointed out that the team was already ahead of 2012, when its new car had a single shakedown run ahead of its race debut.
"We leave Jerez feeling very encouraged with the understanding we have achieved of the MR02 and the progress we have made gathering data to feed back into the development cycle,” Booth commented, “The week has not been without its frustrations, but that's all part and parcel of pre-season testing and we are naturally keen to find any issues with the package early so we can iron them out for the next two tests and the season.
“In the free air we have achieved out on track, we have taken great encouragement from the baseline performance of the car and the obvious potential for development as the season progresses.
"However, perhaps the most satisfying thing about this week's test is the fact that we are in completely different shape to how we were this time last year. Heading into Australia, we had just 100km of mileage to our name, whereas we leave Jerez tonight having achieved almost 1000km of running and a good deal of data for the engineers to pore over next week."
Booth was also impressed with the way his two new charges – both members of Marussia's development squad over the years – had applied themselves during the test, particularly Razia, who only learned of his involvement with the Banbury squad on the morning of day two.
"We've had a very busy week with our new drivers, bringing them further into the fold - particularly Luiz, who hasn't had the benefit of driving our 2012 package,” Booth commented, “Both he and Max have performed very well and, even at this early stage, we can see that we are in for an exciting season as they reveal even more of their own potential. Importantly, they are working well 'together' which will be key to extracting the maximum from team and car this season.”
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