Marussia MR03 Ferrari
Marussia debuted their Ferrari-powered MR03 on January 30 at Jerez, completing 5 installation laps, the first of those being around 15:00 local time. The team had planned to get its car ready for the beginning of the test, but due to some issues failed to get it shipped to Spain in time. Instead, it only got underway on Monday afternoon, arriving at the track on Wednesday afternoon.
The process of conceiving the MR03 began in early 2012 when a small 2014-focused design group initiated the very first chassis layouts. 12 months on, as the 2014 Technical Regulations began to take shape, the team signed a powertrain partnership with Ferrari for 2014, knowing that former engine supplier Cosworth was not on the market with a powerplant that would comply with the turbocharged regulations. The change was important, as the team was effectively continuously lagging behind in terms of sheer horsepower and also on the aerodynamic front, as the Cosworth required more cooling than the competing V8 engines. Using Ferrari power units gives the MR03 a solid backbone to propel itself forward.
Even though the Banbury based team works with a limited budget, Chief Designer John McQuilliam was optimistic about the progress made on the design process compared to the team's previous cars.
“The MR03 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. 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.
“The car has been manufactured and finished to a very high standard, whilst achieving our most significant weight-saving targets to date and, importantly, with a crucial eye towards maintaining our excellent record of reliability.
He highlighted that the biggest challenge due to the regulations was in terms of cooling. The team also designed all new front and rear suspension layouts, focusing less on aerodynamic performance but instead optimising them for better mechanical performance and adjustability.
As a Scuderia Ferrari customer, the Marussia F1 Team is supplied with an Internal Combustion Engine and Energy Recovery System (ERS), full transmission and all related ancillary systems. Team Principal John Booth was very positive about his team's new parter: “We have nothing but good things to say about our new relationship with Scuderia Ferrari. They are extremely professional and have been entirely supportive from the beginning. There is excellent co-operation between our two technical groups in all areas of the new relationship and this has made the considerable challenge of integrating a new powertrain a great deal easier.”
The team also continued its partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies, making use of their second windtunnel and performance optimisation consultancy.
Monocoque: Carbon-fibre composite
Overall width: 1800mm
Designation: Ferrari 059/3
Cars of 2014
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