11 May 2013
Marussia already looking ahead to 2014
Marussia confirms that it has already devoted a large chunk of resources to development of next year's F1 car.
Although its immediate obsession centres on getting the better of 'division three' rival Caterham in 2013, the Marussia F1 team admits that it is already focusing heavily on next season.
The change of regulations, primarily concerning the switch to turbocharged V6 engines, will cause each of the eleven teams to rethink how they divide their resources during 2013 but, for Marussia and Caterham, the issue is even more taxing due to their smaller size and budget.
Although the Banbury-based team is enjoying possibly its most competitive start to an F1 season, it admits that there will have to come a time when development of its 2013 car stops for good.
“In terms of resources, yeah, obviously we are one of the resource-limited teams but that's not to say we don't have big ambitions for 2014,” chief race engineer Dave Greenwood confirmed, “We've done quite a big change-over to that already, in terms of specifics of wind tunnel times, detailing and even design time, there's a lot going on for 2014 already.
“It's a tricky one because we still keep where we are in 2013 with one eye on it, more from the point of view of ensuring that if the opportunities are there to move up, then we've still got to keep a development going, [but] it's about that point now where it's all or nothing basically.”
Caterham's Mark Smith agreed that 2014 presents a bigger challenge than having gone from season to season in the teams first three years, but said that there may not come a point where 2013 development ends.
“I don't know that there will be an absolute switch off, [even though] 2014 represents a big change,” he noted, “In terms of resource, everybody's resource-limited, you're just given the level that you work at. So, to a greater or lesser extent, I think every team will have been looking at 2014 for a while now.
“The time at which you switch the majority of resources will be different for all teams because all teams will be facing different challenges in the championship. For us, 2014 is a very significant thing and I suspect that the majority of our resources will have moved over after Barcelona.”
At the opposite end of the grid, Red Bull's Adrian Newey has already admitted that there will have to be a great deal of focus on ensuring that the world champions don't get left behind next season, but also faces the conundrum of potentially having another title to fight for in 2013.
“It's a hugely difficult problem,” he admitted, “In an ideal world, you kind of try briefly to increase your work force to deal with the resources needed for this and then shrink back down, but that's neither feasible not practical really.
“I think that, certainly for us, we have to put effort into the '14 car, we can't just ignore it. We are putting effort into it at the moment, [but] this is actually about how that percentage varies throughout the year. To some extent it depends on how our championship programme is…. Clearly, if you're in a tight battle for a championship, you don't want to turn your back on that. It's a juggling act, there's no magic formula to it.”
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