30 January 2014
Limited carry-over from MR02 as new Marussia breaks cover
Marussia designer confirms 'clean sheet' approach to creation of 2014 F1 contender.
Such is the extent of the rule changes affecting F1 between the 2013 and 2014 seasons that teams have had to consider a wholesale rethink when it came to designing for the coming year.
Despite appearing later than most of its rivals, Marussia is no different to the rest of the grid, with chief designer John McQuilliam revealing that, of the 11,212 components that made up last year's MR02, only a handful of assemblies have been carried over to the new MR03. The result, according to McQuilliam, is the team's 'best-ever optimisation of performance versus innovation versus design integrity'.
“Through the course of 2012, we analysed every single element of the car - from the tip of the nose to the trailing edge of the rear wing - knowing just how radically different the MR03 would be under such sweeping technical regulations,” he explained, “We have benefitted enormously from the stability of our design teams, with the same personnel beginning - and now concluding - the process over a 24-month period. I think we can feel justifiably proud of the way we have responded to such a significant challenge and the quality of car we have arrived at with the MR03.”
Marussia heads into the 2014 campaign on the back of its most successful F1 season, having beaten Caterham to tenth place in the constructors' championship and notched up an impressive finishing record, with rookie Max Chilton seeing the chequered flag at the end of each of the 19 races.
It is a reputation that McQuilliam is keen to carry over, although he is quick to note that the new regulations have thrown up the odd design headache over the past few months.
“Without doubt, the greatest design challenge has been in terms of cooling, yet this is one of a few areas where we are not only very pleased with the design response, but also the degree of innovation we have achieved with our solution,” he pointed out.
“All-new front and rear suspension layouts are a product of the new aerodynamic regulations placing greater emphasis on mechanical performance, with the mechanical systems now having far greater real road relevance.
“The car has been manufactured and finished to a very high standard, achieving our most significant weight-saving targets to date and, importantly, with a crucial eye towards maintaining our excellent record of reliability.”
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