Marussia expect to attend first test at Jerez

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In the round-up: Marussia is the latest team to indicate it will attend the first test of 2014 at Jerez after Lotus revealed it would not.


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Marussia: no questions over ’14 entry (Autosport)

Sporting director Graeme Lowdon: “We plan to be at Jerez. There is nothing stopping it at the moment.”


Comment of the day

Marussia’s announcement that Max Chilton will remain in the team this year received a response that was lukewarm at best. Here’s @Wsrgo’s take:

Pretty expected, but unlike the Gutierrez announcement, I’m a lot more disappointed. At least Gutierrez went up against a driver who was more experienced and is hailed as the next big thing. Chilton went up against a fellow rookie, a driver who has been exceedingly fast in junior formulae, but has been prone to mistakes under pressure. The net result was almost the same?���?�
Chilton was undeniably the slowest driver in the field last year.

It’s pretty obvious that there are two reasons of taking Chilton. The first one is the financial reason, and it does seem that despite the loss of Aon, Chilton’s financial consortium is still strong.

The second one is continuity, coupled with the lack of feasible choices. There aren’t many drivers in junior formulae who have the power of both money and sponsors, along with a strong dose of talent. Felipe Nasr fits the bill only to some extent, his 2013 season proved, if anything, that he is still far from a finished product. OGX filing for bankruptcy has not helped his financial side either. From last year’s GP2 field, James Calado has talent, but the Racing Steps Foundation are not strong by themselves to bring a driver into F1. Fabio Leimer is reasonable, but not great, and his backing is limited. Bird is probably F1-ready, but at 27, is getting on and one wonders he has reached or is approaching his peak, He has little funding, apart from the scanty support he gets from Mercedes. In Formula Renault 3.5, Stoffel Vandoorne is talented, and given an F1 chance in 2014, wouldn’t’ve struggled, but I think he’s better off with another year of junior series to make him a complete, consistent machine that Magnussen was this year. Nobody else is really ready or has funding and talent or both. So, I can understand that Marussia want to be going with Chilton.

What I cannot agree with, though is the fact that taking anybody else would not have been able to make much of a difference. Next year, we are entering an era of unpredictability and unreliability. There is, thus far, nothing concrete that the Ferrari turbo will be poorer compared to their rivals. Marussia might find themselves in a point-scoring position. New changes being new opportunities, and their is no use sinking to cynicism, that the team will never break their duck. They might be in a position to do so next year, and the odds for have never been heavier. And that is where the difference between a Chilton and say, a Calado might come to the fore.

Continuity, in my opinion is overrated. We have rookies saying their job next year will be easier since the rule changes will be a new thing for experienced drivers, and that might be an opportunity for them to prosper. That’s a stark contradiction to continuity. Either way, the decision is probably largely down to ‘$’ and that Marussia had more on their mind than spending much thought on whom to take alongside Bianchi.

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today Ferrari launched the F60. The defending constructors’ champions endured a difficult year with just a single victory coming their way at Spa, thanks to Kimi Raikkonen.

A few weeks before that Felipe Massa’s crash at the Hungaroring left him seriously injured and out of action for the rest of the year. Substitute drivers Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella were unable to add to the team’s points haul.

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31 comments on “Marussia expect to attend first test at Jerez”

  1. This was one of the Twitter highlights of the day for me:

    (Haha — look at Vergne!)

    1. nice :)

  2. So it’s Williams or team bosses messing with Boullier when at least one of them allegedly told him Lotus would not be alone skipping the Jerez test.

    1. Nah, misread it…

      1. Hey, I did read it right for the first time. Article title had me second-guess myself.

  3. Marussia team will test, Lotus don’t test. It’s very interesting.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      12th January 2014, 1:05

      Makes me wonder if Lotus are in serious trouble. When the smallest team on the grid can go testing and Lotus can’t.

      1. I don’t know if I’d read that much into it. Mercedes didn’t show up for the first test in 2012, after all — their car just wasn’t going to be ready in time. I imagine that with the cars being as different as they are this year, it’s an even bigger problem than usual!

        1. I think this as well. I hope Lotus problems will solve by second test.

      2. If you read the full interview with Lowdon, he makes a really interesting point: that no team has a full car at the moment, and that anyone who does probably hasn’t used their development time very effectively. When the car’s completion is timed down to the day, hour and minute, a single delay could have far-reaching consequences. For example, Lotus have not yet confirmed their engine supplier. If they took too long to arrange for one, then they might not know the dimensions of the engine, and development would come to a standstill while they waited for a deal to be struck.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys – “For example, Lotus have not yet confirmed their engine supplier. If they took too long to arrange for one, then they might not know the dimensions of the engine, and development would come to a standstill while they waited for a deal to be struck.

          Wow, that could be a huge problem for Lotus. It was my understanding Lotus were merely trying to negotiate a better deal with Renault for 2014, but I haven’t really followed Lotus that close lately. I assumed their development issues were more related to late funding after no funding from the deal that fell through. Hope Lotus can get things together soon.

        2. The FIA made a rule about standard fixing points of the engine for an easy changing of the suplier. Solving the cooling and ERS is another thing.

  4. Wow, looking at those pictures of the 2009 Ferrari you can really see how complex aerodynamics have become in last couple of years (front wing for example) it looks like an unfinished car by comparison, but then again it probably was at the time!

    1. The 2009 cars were really horrific, from the sound of it this year’s will be too :D

    2. The front wings changed in complexity a huge amount just from 2009 to 2010 though. Plus the 2009 cars always look a bit more funny because they’re shorter, which combined with the wide front and narrow rear wings makes them look even more unbalanced than the current cars, which at least have a bit of length to disguise how silly the disproportionate wings are.

      1. I always considered (aesthetically) the F60 to be a highlight of the 2009-2013 rule book, along with the BGP 001 and RB7, F150.

  5. Of the teams you expected to miss the race, Caterham, Marrusia will both be there, what teams is Boullier refering too in missing the first test? Its looking more and more they will be the only ones?
    thank god for kimi to leave this nonsense team

  6. I think Lotus not being ready for the first test is a bad news for Renault too because all the engine manufactures want to have the maximum amount of feedback from all their customers, Marussia being ready is a good news for Ferrari, Guys any news on Michael’s situation

    1. Bad news for Renault? Not really. Even without Lotus, they have Caterham, Red Bull and STR – as many teams as Ferrari.

      1. That’s the point because Renault doesn’t have the same resources/budget like Ferrari or Mercedes

  7. Good to see where another couple of driver’s got their number choices from. It seems a lot of them have gone for their first karting numbers, it must really be something that sticks with you even if they’ve not had the chance to run it since!

  8. My second COTD!!! Thanks @keithcollantine :)

    1. Great job. Your commen sums it all up.

    2. Yeah, your COTD sums it up nicely!

  9. I really wonder which team Erik Boullier was talking about. If all teams turn up, than that would make him look even more stupid. His exuse of not being the only team missing the test doesn’t really make Lotus’ situation any better. If i had to guess though, id say Redbull maybe are not ready. They’re usually late but just in time, maybe this year they got overwhelmed by complexity.

    1. Have Sauber confirmed that they would be there? I really doubt Red Bull of all teams would miss the test.

    2. The Bulls did cross my mind… I get the impression they and Lotus went longer into 2013 working on their 2013 car than anyone else. Been late before, I think.

      Will have a few £600 hospitality packages to refund if they miss it though.

      1. Red Bull have indeed intentionally skipped test sessions in the past – in 2010 I believe – and still proved to be very competitive in that season. In fact, they attributed their success that season to the fact that they spent longer refining their car than in the past, even if they did have to pay for it with greater unreliability in the earlier part of that season.
        On a similar note, Lotus were forced to withdraw from the first test session ahead of the 2013 season IIRC due to a chassis defect, yet they still remained fairly competitive throughout the season. It is a bit of a risk, but skipping a test session can pay off if you are able to develop the car for longer in the intervening period.

        As for which teams will be at the first test, I believe that only Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Caterham and Marussia have stated that they will attend. That means Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Williams have not yet confirmed that they will attend the first test session (or even announced when they will reveal their new cars).

        Out of those teams, Sauber could possibly skip the first test – both because of financial reasons and because they were relatively late in signing their engine deal with Ferrari – and we could in theory see one of those other teams delay their launch too. There have been a few rumours that Red Bull were pushing for the first test session to be delayed because Renault are supposedly a little behind schedule with production of their new engines, although the fact that Caterham are attending the first session suggests that issue might have been resolved.

  10. A little further down the track, a round-up article covering the reasons all the drivers (where possible) picked their numbers would be cool :)

    1. That’s easy: most picked kart numbers. Some, like Button, Magnussen and Vettel, picked numbers they had won titles with. Bianchi got stuck with his fourth choice, Raikkonen was too lazy to pick a new number, and Kvyat chose a number with no meaning so that he could look forward to the day when it will be the most important number of his career.

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