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Team Biography

SEASON INFORMATION
15/08/2013


Jules
Bianchi

Max
Chilton
 
 

Team Biography

 

In November 2010, it was announced that Marussia, a Russian sports car manufacturer founded in 2007, had taken a controlling stake in Virgin Racing and that in 2011 it would compete - under a Russian racing licence - as Marussia Virgin Racing.

In November 2011, the F1 Commission officially accepted the team's request to change it name to Marussia F1 Team in 2012.

Having established a technical collaboration with McLaren, and recruited former Renault stalwart Pat Symonds to put together a design team, not to mention the move to a new factory in Banbury - closer to the F1 Triangle - much more was expected of the team in 2012, especially in light of its previous dismal performances.

With a 60% model of its 2012 car in the McLaren wind tunnel by the end of September 2011, the first parts were being received at the factory in early December. Surprisingly, the team opted to continue with one strand of Nick Wirth's philosophy - it opted not to use KERS in 2012 - John Booth insisting that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

While Jerome d'Ambrosio gave a good account of himself in 2011, the team opted to drop him in favour of GP2 graduate Charles Pic, who spent two days testing with the team at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. Timo Glock, who had a contract until 2014, would continue to lead the team.

Looking ahead to the new season, Pitpass' Mat Coch summed up the huge improvement needed... and why.

"Virgin is officially the worst team in Formula One," he wrote. "It has been these last two seasons and that simply has to change. Investors are not interested in doing business with an entity which is not successful. Success breeds success, and while Jim Wright, Marketing Director at Virgin, tells us that the team's finances are built through business-to-business relationships rather than traditional investment, Formula One is an especially fickle business and if you're not winning you're losing. The maths is comparatively simple in that respect."

Well, on paper, Marussia appears to have had a pretty good season, however, had the season been just a few laps less it could have been even better.

Yes, the Russian team finally overhauled HRT, leapfrogging the Spanish team to finish eleventh in the standings however, until the final laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix it appeared to have jumped Caterham also, thereby taking tenth in the standing, and thereby entitled to a share of the official prize pot, thought to be worth in excess of 15m.

Having failed the mandatory crash test, the Russian team was forced to use its 2011 car in pre-season testing, the 2012 (MR01) not appearing until March 5 - eleven days before the start of the Australian Grand Prix weekend - when it was unveiled at Silverstone.

The penultimate car to be launched - HRT was last - originally it was to be the only car on the grid that would not use KERS until the Spanish outfit opted to follow suit.

The start of the season didn't augur well, Clock and Pic managing to out-pace the HRTs but still way short of the Caterhams. On the other hand, reliability was good, though in Bahrain Pic began a run of three races in which he failed to finish courtesy of a string of failures (hydraulics, driveshaft and electrics).

While there was disappointment when Glock was forced to pull out of the European Grand Prix due to a stomach bug worse was to come weeks later when test driver Maria de Villota was seriously injured in a bizarre accident during straightline testing at Duxford Airfield.

The Spanish driver crashed heavily into the lift gate of the team transporter, sustaining serious injuries. In the days that followed it was revealed that she had lost her right eye.

Having dropped Nick Wirth's controversial all-CFD approach, the conventional windtunnel work appeared to be paying off.

At Spa, the team's fiftieth Grand Prix, Pic was fastest in FP2 with teammate Glock sixth, though it should be pointed out that only ten drivers actually set a time in the heavy rain. However, In Singapore, Glock was to produce the team's best ever race result, finishing twelfth and thereby leapfrogging Caterham to take tenth in the Constructors' Championship.

To the Banbury-based outfit it was like winning the championship, however, the joy was short-lived, Vitaly Petrov's eleventh in Brazil allowing the Anglo-Malaysian team to retake the position and the (much needed) prize money.

Ironically, on the Friday of the Brazil weekend, Pic revealed that he was heading to Caterham, therefore with Glock under contract until the end of 2014 attention shifted to who might partner him.

A few weeks later it was announced that Max Chilton, who had driven the car in FP1 in Abu Dhabi, would partner Glock in 2013. Sorted!

Even before Brazil however, in early November, Pitpass reported that the team was in active discussion with potential new investors in the business and was also pursuing other sources of income including potential sponsorship and drivers.

All went quiet until January 20, a cold miserable Sunday, when two reports coming out of Germany caught the sport (and media) off guard. The first related to Toto Wolff leaving Williams for Mercedes, while the other had Timo Glock being dumped by Marussia.

Next day, the Russian team confirmed the news, claiming that the decision was by mutual agreement. Summing up the situation, John Booth said: "The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future. Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, Formula 1 teams included."

While Glock soon found employment in the form of a DTM seat with BMW, many were shocked by the news and as the debate raged the popular German took to twitter, confirming that "this has nothing to do with sport".

Therefore, bearing in mind Pitpass' revelation in November, coupled with Glock's dumping and Booth's admission, things do not look good for the Russian team, a situation emphasised by the collapse of HRT.

Days before the first of the 2013 launches, a number of (pay) drivers were under consideration for the second seat, while the team had yet to announce its launch date.

The team subsequently announced Brazilian Luiz Razia as Chilton's teammate however, when the youngster was unable to produce the first instalment of his 'rental fee' he was dropped and hours after Jules Bianchi learned he had lost the Force India drive the Frenchman was signed by Marussia.

It is believed the Bianchi deal may well have been underwritten by Ferrari, not only in terms of getting the youngster into a seat but also with an eye on the new formula for 2014 when Marussia will need a new engine supplier to replace Cosworth.

Statistics - at the end of the 2012 Season

Drivers' Titles: 0
Constructors' Titles: 0
Seasons in F1: 3
Grand Prix: 58
Wins: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0

Best result in 2012: 12th (2 times)
Best qualifying 2012: 19th (2 times)
Worst qualifying 2012: 24th (2 times)

2012: Glock out-qualified Pic 13 times
2012: Pic out-qualified Glock 7 times

2012: Completed: 2158 out of 2327 laps (92.7%)
2012: Finished 33 times from 39 starts (84.6%)

Management

Team Principal: John Booth

Chief Executive Officer: Andy Webb

Sporting Director & President: Graeme Lowdon

Technical Director: Pat Symonds

Chief Designer: John McQuillam

Head of Research & Development: Richard Connell

Chief Aerodynamicist: Richard Taylor

Team Manager: Dave O'Neill
Chief Engineer: Dave Greenwood
Race Engineer Car No 22: Michael Harre
Performance Engineer Car No 22: Marcus Dudley
Race Engineer Car No 23: Paul Davison
Performance Engineer Car No 23: Gary Gannon
Chief Mechanic: Richard Wrenn

Commercial Director: Alun Hindle

Sponsor Acquisitions: Mike Scudamore

PR & Communications Director: Tracy Novak

Partner Services Director: Ewen Honeyman

Technical Specifications

MR02

Chassis material: Carbon
Bodywork material: Carbon
Front suspension: Carbon fibre with carbon flexure joints
Rear suspension: Carbon fibre
Dampers: Penske
Steering: Marussia F1 Team designed hydraulic PAS

Gearbox: Aluminium construction with 7-speed Xtrac longitudinally mounted internals
Clutch: AP Racing
Discs: Hitco Carbon - Carbon
Callipers: AP Racing
Pads: Hitco Carbon - Carbon
Cooling system: Marussia F1 Team

Cockpit instrumentation: MES SECU
Seat belts: Willans six point harness
Steering wheel: Marussia F1 Team design with MES electronics
Driver seat: Anatomically formed carbon composite
Extinguisher system: FEV FIA approved system

Wheels: BBS
Fuel cell: ATL
Battery: Braille
Fuel: BP Castrol
Lubricants: BP Castrol

Dimensions

Front Track: 1800mm
Rear Track: 1800mm
Wheelbase: 3400mm

Engine - Cosworth CA2013

Duty Cycle Type: 4 stroke reciprocating piston, normally aspirated
Configuration: 8 cylinders in banked V configuration with an angle of 90 degrees
Construction: Cast aluminium alloy cylinder block and head, forged aluminium pistons, steel crankshaft
Capacity: 2,400cc
Valves: 32 with pneumatic valve springs
Maximum Speed: Limited to 18,000rpm
Timing: Double overhead cams driven via compliant gear from crankshaft
Mass: In excess of 95kg
Cylinder Bore: Less than 98mm
Fuelling: 8 injectors supplied by a pressurized system at 100bar
Ignition: 8 ignition coils each driving single spark plug
Lubrication: Dry sump
Spark Plugs: Champion

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