Marussia to miss last pre-season test after crash test failure

2012 F1 season

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Timo Glock, Virgin, Barcelona, 2012
Timo Glock drove the MVR-02 on Barcelona

Marussia have announced they will not run their new car in the final pre-season test of 2012.

The team confirmed its new car – the MR01 – had failed one of the FIA crash tests. As of this year, teams must pass the FIA’s crash tests before they may run their cars in testing.

A statement released by the team said: “The Marussia F1 Team is disappointed to confirm that the planned first test of its 2012 race car – the MR01 – has been delayed as a consequence of not passing the final FIA crash test.

“All cars are required to pass 18 FIA-observed tests for homologation to be granted. Despite the fact that the MR01 has passed all 17 of the preceding tests, the regulations require the car to have completed all of the tests before running commences.

“The team will now not take part in the final pre-season test in Barcelona later this week (1-4 March) and will instead focus its efforts on repeating the crash test at the end of the week.”

Marussia used their 2011 car – the Virgin MVR-02 – in testing last week.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “Marussia to miss last pre-season test after crash test failure”

  1. So does this mean the first time they’ll run it will be at Melbourne? Ouch, that’s quite a blow for them.

    1. That is, if they manage to pass the test and actually ship out all the parts in time to be ready in FP1 in Melbourne …

      On the other hand, they might manage to get the other teams to agree on a day of testing for a shakedown if they finish those tests in time.

    2. I have a doubt here. If Mercedes skipped the last day in Jerez in order to do a private test, and Lotus is asking for an extra day because of the chassis problems in Barcelona…

      Can’t Marussia and HRT ask for an extra day too?

      1. Of course they can ask. Whether they can afford it, that’s a different story.

      2. They can ask, but they can’t use it until they have a car that passes all 18 crash tests because private tests for F1 cars are governed by the same rules as public ones. No problem for Hispania (though finances might be, as Cyclops suggested), but not much help to Marussia due to air freight timings.

        1. Indeed @alianora-la-canta, they could, but time and money probably prevent it.

          So from being sceptic about HRT over the last month, who last years despite a bad start lucked ahead of Virgin over the season, we now go to seeing Marussia silently slipping behind HRT already in preparation to the 2012 season. I hope at least the car is solid when it gets on track!

        2. Why is that? Surely if it’s a private test they’re entitled to test anything the wish to, safe or not.

          1. @ajokay it’s to ensure the safety of the driver and to prevent the teams putting them on a track in a car that doesn’t meet standard, whether the test is private or not doesn’t make any difference at all

        3. Why do they even test in Spain when the majority of the teams are based in the UK? Surely it would make sense, especially for the smaller teams to not have to ship things over to Europe, when there are plenty of circuits much closer to home they could test at?

          1. Because they’re much more likely to get warm, dry days and therefore more useful running.

  2. Will Timo Glock be happy that at least this year he has been able to do his miles in the McLaren simulator, or will he be gutted even before the season starts.

    I can imagine a bit of a smile on Nick Wirth’s face though.

    1. @BasCB

      I don’t think Wirth’s laughing. But even if he is, I am convinced the team is better off without him. It took them way too long to realize that his ignorance of wind-tunnels in times when in-season testing is banned was borderline madness.

      How often do you hear that even wind-tunnel data has to be double checked if the measurements were dialed in correctly? I wonder if the data they got from their CFD design had any relation whatsoever to real life results.

      1. I think you might be supprised by how good the correlation was betwn their CFD and reality @dennis, it was just that working only with CFD and apparently lacking that nack for designing a good F1 car failed to give the team the car that would bring a big step forward.

        1. I’m not sure. CFD is a powerful tool and it sure can make life easier, but I doubt it can (at this point in time at least) completely replace wind tunnel testing.

  3. Marussia and HRT in their third season now and still can’t make it to all the pre-season testing. Such fail.

    The grid would be better without them.

    1. HRT still have a chance to bring a 2012 car that is actually able to do some running until the end of the week.

    2. Unless there are teams in line to fill the space, the grid is not better without them. Considering the seemingly cursed 13th spot has still not been filled after 3 years, it doesn’t seem like there’s a line waiting…

    3. @ptrwiv Well, Virgin managed it in 2010 and 2011. Marussia haven’t in 2012.

    4. I wonder why all this HRT/Marussia bashing comes from.

      Minardi usually updated their old car instead of designing a totally new one and were just miles behind in qualifying too. Yet no one cared about it and we all loved them.

      HRT and Marussia are doing better, in much more difficult circumstances, yet people hate them? Hard to see why…

      1. @Fer-no65

        Exactly. I’m also constantly puzzled by how people can say the field would be better without them. If we rid the field of cars that are able to win we end up with Indy 2005.

        There have been MUCH, much worse efforts with teams not being able to qualify, or even pre-qualify (I don’t think most of the ‘haters’ even know what that was) in times when F1 was much simpler and much less expensive.

        I’m all for every single underfunded team, that clings on to F1 just for the sake of the sport than having yet another manufacturer who buys a team and then bails out at random, leaving everyone standing in the rain.

        We were lucky Peter Sauber and Ross Brawn saved what manufacturers left to die. Otherwise we’d still have a 20 car field with 4 of them struggling to make pre-season tests.

      2. I disagree. Indeed f1 fans didn’t care much about minardi being always extremely late with updates, but that was back then. In 2009 there was a large effort to reduce costs, so that new teams can have more breathing space. The result was the RRA, which, even with it’s flaws, did significantly reduce costs. New teams should be able to run efficiently. What do we see? Despite those efforts hrt and marussia still aren’t capable of doing rudimentary aspects of the sport like testing their new cars.

        Times have changed for f1. I sincerely believe we have came to an era where we shouldn’t have such sloppy teams on the grid.

        1. I think you completely underestimate how hard it is to keep an F1 team running. It’s not like they changed the rules and now everyone can do F1 and be good at it.
          And your definition of a sloppy team makes me cringe. Even without much pre-season testing both Virgin and HRT made it to the races usually on their own speed.

          1. That’s what you make of it. I never claimed it is easy. Infact I believe financing the project should be the biggest priority of a team, not the racing itself. What I did said was that for new teams the cost isn’t that high anymore, making the whole project more sustainable. And yes, teams that are only BARELY able to get to the grid are sloppy. There are no prospects that they can improve and thus sponsors will go away eventually, leaving the future not all too bright for those teams.

        2. The RRA failed miserably. We all know that.

          The new teams were promised a budget cap that didn’t happen, so they had to spend much more than what was planned at first.

          There will always be a sloppy team in the grid. That’s just a fact, they can’t all be good teams.

          And by the way, F1 is full of “sloppy” teams much worse than Marussia or HRT. Remember they are constantly within the 107% laptime, so that’s quite an achivement in itself.

          Why does having them on track bother you so much? you hardly notice anyway, so…?

        3. Flying Lobster 27
          28th February 2012, 12:41

          First of all, F1 fans, real racing fans, care about all the teams. Minardi was a brilliant outfit that saught to bring new talent to the grid – Fisichella, Trulli, Alonso, Webber all debuted for the Faenza team – and it was a shame to see the name disappear.

          I think you don’t know what a sloppy team really looks like. A team that regularly – albeit barely – gets on to the grid is not sloppy. A team that never or rarely makes the cut is. A team that makes few developments from one year to the next is not sloppy. A team that gets its spare parts from a museum is.

          Life. Andrea Moda (ooh, is that Nick Wirth?). MasterCard Lola. Monteverdi. Simtek (ooh look, it is Nick Wirth!). Now THEY were sloppy, look up their stories and you’ll see that HRT and Marussia, despite their woes, are way better than the aforementioned.

          Also, “financing the project should be the biggest priority of a team, not the racing”, doesn’t work. Put bags of money into a team, say a big recognisable sponsor (MasterCard), and then botch the car (Lola), and you won’t make it to the grid all the same.

          1. I think we have different opinions about what we determine as sloppy. Just hanging on there, only being able to get to the grid, that’s not good. That means that if you have only a littlz bit of more bad luck, you’ll not be able to start. That’s very simple and very realistic.
            Now why do I hammer on the financial aspectt. Of course money doesn’t do everything, but what you now have with especially hrt is that they startee way too optimistic, thinking they can run effectively with a yearly budget of 40 milion. Having financial difficulties also means suppliere will not be hasty to deliver orders. Next it’ll ultimately scare off sponsors, b/c they know their input will firet be used to pay off debte. So in short yes the financial aspect is by far the most important part of running a team, not racing itself, simply b/c without that bag of money you’ll get nowhere. And that shows: why do else think hrt and marussia are so late with crahstesting? And their chassis are nothing spectacular! They are simple adjustments to the rules. If they even fail in that then they are bottom line sloppy.

          2. Flying Lobster 27
            28th February 2012, 16:50

            HRT and Marussia failing their first series of crash tests is sloppy by today’s standards, but HRT ultimately passed second time out. If Marussia doesn’t do the same thing, then it would get sloppy by my standards. HRT’s last off-season was very poor too, as the – sponsorless – car wasn’t ready for Melbourne.

            For the rest, throughout last season, I think they were ok, even financially. HRT had a bill scare in 2010 I think, and so did the Green Lotuses, but now, from here and from someone who doesn’t know that much about money, it seems orderly enough.

            Sure qualifying at the back isn’t good, but they are qualifying and getting media exposure, which is key for the sponsors, yet I’m under the impression it takes quite a lot to fail to get on to the grid nowadays, as, in case of the bad luck you mention, like a technical problem stopping a car from taking part in Q1, the stewards let the cars through on practice pace.

    5. And then when they are out? Will you say the same about the next bottom team? and then the next?

      I think you are ignorant.

    6. I think these comments need screening so whenever they appear automatic replies are added, taken from a previos comment-tree, saying what rubbish it is. It would save us repeating ourselves twice a week about how wrong the commenter is ;)

    7. While this is indeed bad, I wonder how many fans reacted when the HRT’s failed test new came out. Comments like “HRT are a joke”, “The grid would be better without them” were surprising to see. Surprising because, if the team is that bad then I don’t think they would want to struggle so hard just to survive and race. They would, anyone would, just pack up and sell the team. But they didnt. They are trying hard but its not always that everyone always meet their objectives. Does one expect a new team to be a McLaren over night? Many would give Caterham as an example of how a new team should be managed. But if poaching and ‘borrowing’ the name and legacy of team from the past makes a team ‘improving’ then yeah, that’s something Marussia and HRT failed. With limited funding and resources, they struggle to manage and we call them a ‘joke’ and when they take ‘pay drivers’ to get some alternate source of fund, we call them ‘undeserving’. Now, that’s a joke!

    8. Caterham have managed to get things together and have shown what is possible. HRT and Marussia have both been very poor in comparison.

      1. when u think in 1997 JYS started a team from scratch and they were 5th on the grid by their 3rd race. podium by mid season and they had a pole and a race win by their 3rd season….yet these 3 new teams dont look anywhere near getting a point and its considerably easier to score points now than it was then

        shows what a good job jackie’s team did!

        1. F1 was “easier” for a rookie team back then, AND Stewart, being Stewart, had backing from Ford, and was a great driver having a go at team ownership. Sponsors love that.

          It’s hard to compare Stewart from HRT and Marussia.

          And to be honest, Stewart’s first good showings came as Bridgestone build a better tyre than Goodyear in some events that year. Arrows came close to win a race, and that car wasn’t a wonder. Nowadays, it’s pretty much even out, you only stand from the rest because of the chassis… and that’s the most difficult bit.

        2. it isn’t easier to get points now, because although there are 4 more points positions, the top teams have bullet proof reliability compared to the late 90’s.

  4. Well that’s pants. I guess we pretty much know who will finish 11th and 12th in the constructors now

    1. exactly, it might mean they actually manage to beat HRT this year! After all, the past 2 years Virgin was on track for testing way before HRT but still ended up losing out to them in the results, weren’t they.

      1. Oh, that’s a good point @bascb! Above I thought the opposite, but maybe you are right, they just decided to mimic HRT’s season preparation last years, as it worked to beat Virgin. NIce.

  5. If you think it carefully you may see that HRT is a way more comitted and potentially competitive backmarker. I say this because Marussia, unlike HRT, has many sponsors and quite a financial backing. Last year they could have had more money to invest on their team if Sir Richard had wanted to give it.

    1. The problem with Branson is he’ll only spend *enough* to promote his brand.

      He invested in Brawn because it drew marketing attention as he was supporting the underdog with little to zero investment. Then Brawn won lots of stuff and he realised “they’re going to want more money, aren’t they”. He ran, Brawn started getting a bit more sponsorship elsewhere and he invested in Manor, again hoping to get somewhere cheaply (after all, someone else had already done the leg work – he was just putting some logos on the chassis cheaply).

      Of course, that went well. Stuck at the back of the grid, drawing ire, meant that he lost interest and his involvement in the team slowly dried up.

      Give it a year and there won’t be a Virgin logo on the Marussia car. Heck, there may not even be this year.

    2. Just to point out, just becuase there is a logo on the car doesnt mean money has changed hands. For all we know they could have just been given a piece of machinery!!!

  6. At this rate, if HRT make the final test, they may officially leapfrog Marussia/Virgin to become ‘officially the second worst team in F1’.

    1. The results already show that anyway…

      1. And that shows how championship standings don’t reflect the true performance of the backmarkers. Yes, HRT has beaten Virgin in both years, but HRT had clearly the worst car.

        1. It wasn’t so clear last year actually. We saw Virgins getting beaten by HRT’s on merit a few times.

  7. what must timo glock be thinking. 2009 seems a long time ago

    1. Uber. Fail.

  8. It. Isn’t too much of a disaster if their original plan was to run the cars at the race weekend. Let’s face it, the FIA just tried to compress the team production schedules, not bad if you have lots of experience and are well financed.
    HRT and MRV have to out source much of their design and manufacturing work and these have lead times.

    If say RBR is late with their cars, it is because they are looking for performance, whereas, MRV or HRT just operate at a slower pace.

  9. HRT and Marussia are probably daring each other to do worse. No offense, I have loads of respect for these 2 teams, but this seems rather comical after a while.

    1. Not having people who cares about all that HRT and Marussia mess, makes the whole situation even more complicated…

    2. you’re right pluto. reminds me of the Top Gear episode where they have a communist car drag race and both want to show their car is slowest.

  10. It’s not a total waste – they’ll at least have a chance to run at Mugello.

  11. So would you guys rather have a manufactuer-backed outfit such as BMW or Toyota back on the grid rather than HRT or Marussia ??

    1. I prefer Marussia to BMW and Toyota because it feels like they are in it for the right reasons and also has enough flexibility to not become a long-term laughing stock. Yes, it’s learning everything the hard way and perhaps it needn’t, but it’s rarely repeating any particular error. BMW and Toyota would make the same mistakes race after race, to Toyota’s perpetual impediment and BMW’s eventual downfall.

      Hispania’s recently been through big changes so I want to see how it ends up before answering a question of that type.

    2. No, I would rather have Lamborghini, Pagani and Koenigsegg!

      1. Flying Lobster 27
        28th February 2012, 12:48

        And Spyker. Oh damn…

    3. Marussia is a manufacturer team – they’er funded by Marussia Motors, a fledgling Russian sports car manufacturer.

      1. In soviet russia, crashtest fails you!

      2. Oops, forgot that, good point.

    4. I have nothing against BMW or Toyota and any competition to RBR, McLaren and Ferrari would be welcome. The problem is that they are not going to return as F1 is not financially attractive to them, at least now. The sport must change so that it is either attractive to manufacturers or can help teams like Marussia and HRT survive. And the past has shown that private teams are more faithful to F1 than manufacturers.

    5. Yes. The likes of BMW or Toyota would be much better for F1. We blame them and hate them for leaving the sport amid the financial crisis. People criticize them for not being loyal to the sport. But at least while it lasted they were ambitious, organized, motivated and professional. They might have not met peoples’ expectations but maybe thats because people expected a lot from them. But with teams like HRT and Marussia, nobody expects anything, so even if they just show up they are immediately praised and admired.

      Who wouldn’t prefer a works team? In any form of motorsport? F1 fans should be grateful for companies like Toyota investing billions in their sport. Instead people hate them for leaving. Isnt that an indication that people didnt want them to leave?

      1. I’d say the manufacturers were ambitious, but no way organised, motivated or professional.

        Toyota (and Honda) had endemic failings rooted in their Japanese origins that prevented them competing – their teams were neither flexible nor aggressive enough to really compete in F1, instead hoping to invest their way to the top.

        BMW just wanted to win so very badly, to get their drivers to the top step. The problem is, they went at it just ‘wrong’. They just assumed that, following their Williams fallout, that they could just buy into another team, stick their (admittedly very good) race winning engine in the boot and continue collecting honours.

        1. i’d say they were a little but too organized in fact. Your own comment proves they were motivated (maybe went about it the wrong way) and they were certainly more professional than HRT.

  12. Failing the crash test is not the problem. Many teams fail now and then. The problem is how late the car was ready to do one in the first place.
    This might be the aftermath from Nick Wirth’s ill-fated computer dreams and the switch to real world designing.
    Whatever the cause, I feel for Timo Glock. He deserves a proper seat finally.

    That said, I still hope Marussia makes it.

  13. When the Marussia MR-01 finally does launch, I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a revised livery. They’ve just announced a partnership with Carlin in GP2, and this is the team’s new livery. And they’re continuing their association with Manor Motorsports in GP3, with this livery spotted during testing at Estoril. So I would not be surprised if the MR-01 launches with a similar design.

    1. That’s no more revised than Sauber’s livery was. Is changing the direction of the colours really a revision?

      I want a massive full body Russian flag with a giant crude oil barrel painted on one side and a pile of money on the other!

      1. You’re not going to get it. Marussia appear to be aiming for an identity between their three teams – not unlike Lotus – so I’d say that the MR-01 will be of a similar design to the Carlin GP2 and Manor GP3 cars.

        Although there is a strong possibility of Russian sponsors appearing on the car if Virgin have no presence in the team this year.

  14. Awful news really. Surely this can’t be good for their competition with HRT? Still, who knows, they might turn it round. I doubt it though. It would have been good to see how Marussia attacked the track in Melbourne but for now they’re going to be on the backfoot.

    Perhaps their only saving grace is that a bit richer than HRT so they could exploit that when it comes to development over the season.

    1. All Marussia need to do is get a better result than HRT before HRT gets a better result than them, and 11th place in the Constructors’ Championship is theirs.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I thought it was based more on average finishing position and a higher finishing place at one race improved your average meaning you finished higher in the WCC?

        1. Flying Lobster 27
          28th February 2012, 14:30

          It’s the standard tie-breaking procedure: highest finish gets ahead, if equal look at the number of those highest finishes, if equal again second highest finish, etc.

    2. Bad new for their competition with HRT? HRT isn’t their problem, they will beat those guys easily. It’s just bad new for their progress.

  15. I was hoping that with their technical partnership with McLaren introduced, that the team was going to move forward. I didn’t expect a lot, but this doesn’t seem like progression of any kind.

    I sincerely hope that Marussia at least have a half-decent car (at least cut the deficit to Caterham by some) and that this is just a minor hiccough.

  16. Personally i think this has been caused from all the changes taking place last year. Getting rid of Wirth and moving from sheffield in the summer break meant they would have to re-employ alot of new staff which on some of the notice periods means waiting months to get them.

    I think this car will be an improvement but the biggest improvement will be seen next year when they can fully benefit from the use of the wind tunnel in the design phase and use what they are currently learning.

    I think it is unfair to critisim Marussia and HRT for keeping at it

  17. It’s a shame that none of the three newer teams in F1 can compete with the more established teams, it is their third season after all. Really if it wasn’t for the fact that it would be a hard sell trying to convince TV and the public to come and see F1 with just 18 cars, neither of the three newer teams deserve their place in F1. If Marussia and HRT can’t pass their crash tests you have to ask why they are allowed to compete in F1, and as for Caterham, even though they have their act a bit more together, they are still 3 seconds off the pace in testing and I cannot see this improving once the season gets going. By their 3rd season these teams should be able to compete with teams like Sauber, Williams, Torro Rosso, Force India and Lotus. When teams like Jordan, BAR, Stewart Racing and Larrouse entered F1 they were far more competitive. The three new teams are more akin to teams like Life (remember Perry McCarthy and the W12 engine) and the latter day Brabhams.

  18. To me it feels like HRT and Marussia has swapped places with each other due to the fact that Marussia will not able to test the car before the season starts and HRT barely making it to the tests. And although they are both struggling I think they’re doing an awesome job with the little money the both have.

  19. i know this goes against all f1 rivalry but if i was mclaren i would help marrusia in terms of performance. just to get them to the leval of caterham or so

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