The team hopes to change all that with the introduction of their 2013 F1 racer, the MR02.
Representing a comprehensive evolution of the 2012 car, the MR02 received a host of new changes that has put the onus on the team to be more competitive than they’ve ever been in the racing series. The chassis, for one, carries a number of elements that are new, allowing the car to handle the rigors of hardcore racing to the fullest. That in itself is a victory for the MR02, considering its predecessor had a hard time just staying on the track last season.
The biggest change to the MR02, though, is the addition of the KERS system, which is making its debut on a Marussia race car. With the installation of the KERS system, team engineers had to work double and triple time to integrate the system while also reducing the overall weight of the carbon chassis and redesigning the body to accommodate new signatures to the car. The new side pod design and the more aggressive Coanda-style exhaust are also key improvements for the MR02, all of which we’re made while under pressure to still meet mandatory FIA crash tests.
As for its engine, the MR02 will still be powered by Cosworth’s CA2013K engine and mated to a modified seven-speed Xtrac longitudinally mounted aluminum transmission. Marussia’s partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies is also a boon for the MR02, with the latter providing tools - a wind tunnel and simulator being two of them - that Marussia can make good use of to continue development of the MR02.
It’s not the most powerful setup in the grid by any stretch of the imagination, but for a team like Marussia that hasn’t been around Formula One all that long, all the modifications given to the MR02 will go a long way to making them a lot more competitive in the grid.