Max Chilton has revealed the Marussia MR02 in which he will make his F1 debut
Team will run KERS for the first time in 2013
By William Esler. Last Updated: 05/02/13 10:17am
Max Chilton has taken the covers off the car in which he will make his F1 debut, the Marussia MR02, at Jerez ahead of the first pre-season test.
The British-based team called the car "a comprehensive evolution of the MR01" and for the first time in their history, the chassis will be fitted with a KERS unit.
Given that the energy recovery system is thought to be worth around 0.3 seconds a lap, the team will hope to break into the top 10 of the Constructors' Championship in 2013, after running the KERS-equipped Caterham squad close for the spot worth around £10million last year.
Chilton becomes the fourth British driver on the grid and admits he is excited by the new chapter in his career.
"It took me a little while to get to sleep last night and now I can't wait to get going," the 21-year-old told Sky Sports News.
"I've done a few sessions in the simulator but it's not like the real thing. We're really excited to see our performance out on track.
"But we have a lot of practice work to do before we get up to speed, but I am sure it will be fine."
Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon is excited about the new car, which features a completely new exhaust package from its predecessor.
Testing on Sky Sports
From dawn to dusk, Sky Sports Online will be providing live interactive commentary from trackside at both Jerez and Barcelona on every day of testing this winter, while Sky Sports News will be providing regular live updates from the tests, starting with Jerez on February 5-8.
A round-up show featuring the day's interviews from Jerez will go out at 9pm each evening of the test on Sky Sports F1.
"The car is well packaged," he said.
"There are a lot of new concepts on the car and a lot of carryover from what we have learnt over the last three years. I am quite excited by this car and we can't wait to get Max in it and see how it runs.
"If you look at the treatment of the exhaust there is a lot of new packaging there and one of the main things is the car has KERS on it."
There was no sign of a second Marussia driver at the unveiling, but Lowdon is optimistic they can make an announcement soon.
"Hopefully soon," he replied when asked when the world would know who Chilton's team-mate is.
"There is no announcement yet, but we will keep Max busy and see how the car goes."
Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz witnessed the unveiling of the MR02 and thinks it looks like a good package given the team's finances.
"The Marussia looks like a tidy package, given their meagre resources," Kravitz said.
"It's now got all the bells and whistles: KERS, a Coanda exhaust, a high front chassis together with a step nose. So all credit to the team, the car looks good. The drivers are going to be a different matter though.
"If the team does sign another rookie alongside Max Chilton, they will form the least experienced driver line-up on the grid. But that won't worry Marussia as long as they bring the funding that's so obviously needed. The car was launched with very minimal sponsorship on show."
The 2013 car launches
Lotus - January 28th, Enstone.
McLaren - January 31st, Woking.
Force India - February 1st, Silverstone.
Ferrari - February 1st, Maranello.
Sauber - February 2nd, Hinwil.
Red Bull - February 3rd, Milton Keynes.
Mercedes - February 4th, Jerez.
Toro Rosso - February 4th, Jerez.
Caterham - February 5th, Jerez.
Marussia - February 5th, Jerez.
Williams - February 19th, Barcelona.