8 May 2014
Marussia bringing ‘reasonable step’ to Barcelona F1 weekend
Marussia F1 team principal John Booth is hoping to see a 'positive development direction' as upgrades arrive for Spanish GP.
In common with the rest of the F1 field, Marussia will be introducing its first technical upgrade package of 2014 at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
Team principal John Booth confirmed that there would be changes in several areas of the MR03 in Barcelona, aimed at moving the Banbury-based squad closer to the midfield as F1 reconvenes after an extended break following the 'flyaway' races that opened the season.
Marussia remains locked in battle with perennial rival Caterham at the back of the pack but, like its nemesis, hopes that its latest developments will help close the gap that currently exists to the likes of Sauber and Lotus.
“The three-week break since China has been extremely beneficial for the team, providing some respite after the first four long-haul races and the opportunity to regroup technically to ensure that we are in the best possible shape for the start of the European season,” Booth commented, “Spain is a key race, not least because it provides a very good barometer of car performance up and down the field. The weekend, coupled with next week's two-day test, will also ensure everyone gets a good run at the implementation and evaluation of the new developments being introduced at this stage of the season.
“We will be bringing upgrades which can be considered a reasonable collective step. These are primarily aerodynamic, some of which are visible around the nose area and some perhaps a little more subtle. To complement the aero upgrades, we also have some mechanical changes which will allow us to better exploit the aero performance of the car. Naturally, we hope to see confirmation of a positive development direction this weekend.”
It is not only Marussia bringing developments to Spain, however, as engine partner Ferrari continues its relentless efforts to catch up with current pacesetter Mercedes.
“The Spanish Grand Prix opens the European season in F1 and, traditionally, coincides with the introduction, by all the teams, of important updates on the car,” the Scuderia's Mattia Binotto confirmed, “Therefore it is logical to also expect changes in the balance of power in the field, at every level.
“At Ferrari, our efforts to develop the power unit are relentless. In this context, of particular importance is the contribution that we receive from our customer teams, which allows us to not only to acquire very useful data on behaviour and reliability, but also to be able to determine more precisely the goals for improvement.
“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a more 'classic' circuit than the previous grands prix, with fewer long straights and the requirement for greater downforce. Overtaking is typically quite difficult and it will be even more important to get a good position on the grid in order to score a good final result on Sunday afternoon. It is therefore important to try to optimise the performance of the power unit in order to provide the drivers with the maximum power available.”
For Max Chilton, meanwhile, the introduction of new parts is cause for optimism as he focuses on the battle with Caterham.
“After what will have been almost three weeks away from the car, I'm really looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend,” the second-year driver admitted, “We have some interesting new developments and I can't wait to see what these will bring.
“I'm sure Friday will be a very busy day of evaluation during the two free practice sessions and, of course, there will be the chance to look at things a bit more closely after the race during the two-day test. All in all, we should leave Spain next week with a very good understanding of where we are.”
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