New parts boost for Marussia in China

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Marussia intend to build on their encouraging start to the season by introducing some new parts at the Chinese Grand Prix.

“The cars were freighted directly to China, so while we would not call the upgrades we have for this race comprehensive, they are still significant,” explained team principal John Booth

“We will be running some new suspension parts that we proved out in testing but delayed until we had some further race distance experience with the MR02. We also have some new front and rear brake ducts.”

Booth added they have more in the pipeline for the near future: “The bigger push will come for Europe, but for now it’s good to be bringing new incremental updates to the car to maintain our positive trajectory. The drivers have spent some time in the simulator during the break and generally they are feeling much better prepared for the next phase of the season.”

Jules Bianchi qualified two-tenths of a second behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas in Sepang and was half a second off reaching Q2.

Unlike Max Chilton, Bianchi has driven at Shanghai before, but hasn’t covered many more laps than has team mate:

“I have a little experience of the Shanghai International Circuit having completed eight laps there in free practice last year,” said Bianchi. “Plus I spent some time on the simulator in the break.”

“The target for this race is to keep closing on the guys ahead and be challenging them consistently, lap for lap.”

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Image © Marussia

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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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36 comments on “New parts boost for Marussia in China”

  1. If they can break into the midfield this’ll be a huge success story..

    1. @wsrgo definately! i expect them to battle with williams and toro rosso within the next 5-6 races… well at least bianchi, i highly doubt chilton will have any influence on fighting the midfield this year!

    2. especially if you take in consideration the expectations after 3 stalled seasons.

  2. I cant help but wonder if Charles Pic is kicking himself at the moment. He’s chasing the car that he was sat in last year (Jules Bianchi of course). I wouldnt be suprised if Marussia nicked a point this year, and I dont think that extraordinary circumstances will be needed, just the help of a couple of retirements. One or two of the established midfield should keep an eye out

    1. I’m not really sure that Pic had a choice really. You’re implying that he had two choices for next year – to join Caterham or stay at Marussia. I’m not really sure he was guaranteed a seat at Marussia for 2013 so he took the safe bet and went for Caterham. Once again, I don’t know how his contract negotiations went down but I doubt Marussia wanted him but he went to Caterham.

      1. Perhaps, but there’s no denying that he is a pay driver. I think he took the switch to Caterham on their performance last year, thinking it was a good move. Perhaps it will be, Caterham arent supposed to have anything substansively different on the car until Spain, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  3. It would be embarrassing for Bernie if Marussia finishes 10th or higher in the WCC, beating Caterham and another team, which looks most likely to be Williams (never thought I would say that given Williams’ budget and manpower) because Bernie still has not given the Marussians a CVC contract. I hope Marussia does exactly that. Rooting for Bianchi to make all the difference.

    1. I hope for that too because i don’t want to see another team gone. Marussia is more in the edge than Caterham is so i hope something goes well for them and Bernie and his attempts to leave us with ten teams fails in it’s face.
      It’s annoying how hard his negotiating with a small team like that. Throw them a freaking bone would you? But what am talking about. Bernie’s purpose in life is winning negotiations and small conflicts so he doesn’t care about being humane.

  4. @jamesf1 … Do you mean Marussia will nick a point, or Bianchi ? i get the feeling he’s gonna take the MR02 places it doesnt belong….

    1. Haha, Bianchi I guess. But you never know, maybe Max Chilton hasn’t found a setup that suits him yet, or may find the new upgrades more preferable.

      1. I just hope that Marussia gets a point.

  5. I’m with you guys…I find Bianchi to be an intriguing kid. He seems to have “it” and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score a point this year because of his skills despite the fact that he has a lesser car. This time next year, he may be driving for a team like Lotus if Kimi were to jump ship or Redbull if Webber gets pushed out.

    1. I just thought of something…I should have said “he may be driving for a team like Lotus if Kimi were to jump ship or if Grosjean were to….pull a Grosjean again this year”

  6. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited by someone fighting at the back of the grid, but Bianchi really looks great. He seems to be level-headed and calm at the moment, and this is a great starting point for him. This, combined with the fact that Marussia look much stronger this year, could well spell the recipe for scoring a point or two, in the hands of Bianchi.

    I wouldn’t mind betting that Force India are somewhat frustrated that they didn’t sign him, even if their line-up has done a decent job in the first two races. (Malaysia pit stop blunders aside)

  7. Lets hope Marussia capture some momentum this year, after a slow start they seem to be finally heading somewhere in the first couple of races this year, certainly with a bit of a lucky hand in getting Bianchi in the car too.

  8. Jake Hall (@)
    8th April 2013, 22:35

    Hope Marussia do make it to the midfield soon. I don’t like to see four cars trundling round at the back. (Even if Caterham and probably Chilton will continue to)

  9. Truly stunning livery, out of all cars I saw in Barcelona, the marussia and caterham are definitly one of the nicest out there.

    1. Juri Kantonen
      8th April 2013, 23:12

      Marussia being a beauté, Caterham is keeping their style, classic.

      1. do you want to borrow my glasses? How can anyone say the caterham looks nice is beyond me

  10. I was all behind Caterham to be the better of the two backmarker teams, but I have competely changed my tune now that I’ve seen what Jules Bianchi has been able to do so far with that car. He looks incredible! I do hope that performance is sustained, as if it is hopefully we will see him in a better race seat next years (perhaps maybe even a Ferrari?).

    1. @vettel1

      (perhaps maybe even a Ferrari?).

      I would like to think so, but if Ferrari don’t even take Perez because he’s too young and inexperienced, I don’t see much of a chance of Bianchi.

      1. Actually, I hadn’t figured out until now, that Bianchi is actually a few months older than Perez.

      2. @kingshark – fair point with the experience though: I don’t see why Ferrari are so reluctant to take on promising rookies!

        1. maybe it’s Alonso whose reluctant to introduce a promising rookie?

        2. I don’t see why Ferrari should change their driver’s line up just to have a rookie when both drivers (since the second half of 2012) are delivering, look at what happened to Sergio Perez after signing with Mclaren, i think all what Jules Bianchi needs is to have more races and millage in F1, he is familiar with the environment in Ferrari because apart from being a member of the FDA he has been the reserve driver of the team in 2012, he has experience with the simulator and the Ferrari v8 engine, i think maybe he needs another year to have experience with Turbo engines(Marussia Ferrari) before joining Ferrari
          Another thing is that Felipe Massa and Jules Bianchi are managed by Nickolas Todt, so i don’t see him compromising the career of Massa to trigger the career of Bianchi

          1. Excuse me he has been the reserve driver in 2011

          2. @tifoso1989 – the rate he’s going at though he’ll be a much better driver than Massa and of course if we performs he can be a long-standing member of the team. I think Hulkenberg will probably be in the pipeline also though, and he has more experience on his CV.

  11. Well Bianchi said something about a similar suspension like Mercedes being tested by the team at China. If they get that working then maybe they can start battling the Williams. With the emphasis on maybe. I believe ted called it the Frick system.

    1. FRIC stands for “Front and Rear-Interconnected” system. Seems they have a way of passively making hydraulic fluid flow from side to side and/or front to back to keep the ride hit more stable and to reduce pitch and roll.
      Nobody is admitting to details yet. But it is passive so seems to be ruled as “compliant” so far.

      1. @daved Yes that’s what they were talking about. You know what surprises me the most? That because of all this talk about team orders almost none of the worlds media has picked up on this (except Sky sports F1). I heard something during the Australian GP about da costa that he’s some sort of suspension master and that the Mercedes looked like it had a far more superior system as the rest of the field. After that..nothing…not even a mention. And suddenly during the the F1 show it pops up again.

        1. Maybe that is because its far from new @force-maikel. Mercedes has had it for 3 years now, so the sudden reports of this “trick suspension” is a bit strange. According to some it was part of their problems last year actually.

          1. @bascb Well the way I understand it is that they put Da Costa on the suspensions and apparently he made it a lot better because he already did wonders on suspension of the Ferrari last year. Now most of the f1 teams want to figure it out and copy it.

          2. I would take that with a huge enormous pinch of salt @force-maikel.
            Sure, its a thing teams start to focus on (apparently Lotus now have somthing similar working on their car) things like this when other alleys of development get closed off (blown exhausts, engine mapping, double-drs devices etc.), but its not as if its a revolution, nor did any single person “do wonders” on any such part.

  12. I’m just pleased that after 3 long years, we finally have the grid that we (F1 fans) deserve. While it’s a pity that Williams is the team falling back towards the backmarkers, we do have solid competition throughout the grid. Compare that to 2010 and 2011 when the Caterham and Marussia (and… HRT) were rightfully referred to as travelling chicanes.

    Glad to see Marussia doing well, hoping that Caterham can continue to keep that battle interesting and that we see both teams putting the pressure on Williams and Torro Rosso all season long. For either of them to get a point on merit would be huge for the sport.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    9th April 2013, 18:08

    it would be good if both of the “new” team score at least a point this year. that would boost their selfsteem. You must accept that could play some role for a small team. Not all the teams have the same budget, but I still remember when Force India was a team nobody would bet for them, and now they are more often than not getting points (taking aside the last race embarrasment)

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