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Marussia unveil 2012 challenger at Silverstone 05 Mar 2012

Marussia MR01 launch, Silverstone, UK, March 5, 2012 Marussia MR01 launch, Silverstone, UK, March 5, 2012 Marussia MR01 launch, Silverstone, UK, March 5, 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia Racing MVR-02.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 February 2012 Charles Pic (FRA) Marussia Racing VR-02.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Marussia’s new MR01 made its on-track debut at the UK’s Silverstone circuit on Monday. The team were forced to postpone the launch of their 2012 car - and miss the final pre-season test in Barcelona last week - after it failed to pass its final mandatory FIA crash test.

“We are very pleased to be running the new MR01 for the first time this morning,” said team principal John Booth. “It has been a long and frustrating wait for everyone in the team but we can now get back on track - literally - and start working towards the first race of the season in Australia next weekend.”

The MR01, designed by an engineering team led by technical consultant Pat Symonds, is almost entirely new, with very few carryover components from last year’s MVR-02. Marussia hope the new car, described as a ‘significant evolution’, will help them to progress up the ranks. The key design priorities were to address previous aero deficiencies and save weight.

The Cosworth-engined challenger will be driven by Timo Glock, who starts his third season with the team, and rookie Charles Pic, who joins Formula One racing from GP2. Both Glock and Pic will get the chance to sample the new car over the next two days, but as it counts as promotional track time, the pair will have to use demonstration tyres rather than Pirelli’s 2012-spec rubber.

“Today is the first of two promotional events, so while the drivers will be able to get a feel for the car, they won’t be able to draw any real conclusions until we start running in anger in Melbourne,” added Booth. “Nevertheless, this is an important day for us and we’ll enjoy every minute on track with the new car.”

Ahead of the 2012 season, Marussia’s former three-base operation has been consolidated into one UK site in Banbury, which has allowed more integration in the design department. The aero department has also been restructured with the team starting to rely to a greater degree on traditional wind-tunnel work as well as CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).

Marussia also said that the car’s design had been influenced by the technical partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies which they signed back in July 2011, and interestingly the MR01 is the only 2012 car - other than McLaren’s MP4-27 - not to feature a stepped nose.

The launch of the new Marussia means just one team has still to reveal its 2012 car. The new HRT, however, is expected to be unveiled later today at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

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