Marussia's MR01 breaks cover
First glimpse of 2012 car
Last Updated: 06/03/12 9:33am
The Marussia MR01 has finally broken cover on its shakedown this morning at Silverstone.
Having failed to pass the 18 FIA-observed crash tests over the winter, the team are instead running today and tomorrow at the Northamptonshire circuit for promotional purposes, as is allowed under Formula 1's testing regulations.
At first glance - with the new car 'unveiled' on Twitter - the MR01 is similar to the MP4-27 in so far as it does not include the now familiar 'stepped nose'.
The Marussia MR01
Following a disappointing start to last season, the former Virgin squad ended their relationship with technical director Nick Wirth - who had famously championed an all CFD-design approach with the team's first two cars - and took over the Briton's Wirth Research facility in Banbury.
The Russian-backed team subsequently announced a technical tie-up with McLaren which now sees them use the Woking squad's facilities, including wind tunnel, in a bid to improve their own performance levels.
Experienced German driver Timo Glock completed the first laps in the new car at Silverstone.
The MR01 can, according to the team, 'best be described as a significant evolution of its predecessors.'
"We are very pleased to be running the new MR01 for the first time this morning," said team boss 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.
"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.
"Nevertheless, this is an important day for us and we'll enjoy every minute on track with the new car."
Although Marussia may not run a full day of testing with the 2012 Pirelli tyres, they are permitted a shakedown using outdated Pirelli rubber.