Marussia hoping Ferrari will power them to first points

2014 F1 season preview

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While there remains little new to speak of about the Russian sports car company which has leant its name to the Marussia Formula One team for the past three seasons, the team itself enjoyed its most successful season so far last year.

That didn’t look like being the case 12 months ago, when it was forced to eject long-time driver Timo Glock in favour of a replacement who could bring a budget, and began the season with a pair of drivers who had no previous grand prix starts between them.

However some impressive performances by Jules Bianchi helped the team to a best-ever finishing position of tenth in the constructors’ championship. Should they repeat that feat this year they will be entitled to an even more generous financial windfall.

While closest rivals Caterham have chopped and changed their driver line-up yet again, Marussia are one of only two teams on the grid to retain the same pairing this year. But there’s another reason for them to be optimistic about the year ahead.

Max Chilton may have been comprehensively beaten by Bianchi last year but he usually stayed out of the trouble and was running at the end of all 19 races which deserves some credit.

The switch to Ferrari power should give them an engine they can expect to be reliable and competitive. Given the torrid time the Renault teams have endured in testing, Marussia should have some cause to hope that through reliability alone they can make it to the chequered flag in a points-paying position early in the season.

But their own testing didn’t get off to a successful start. The MR03 only appeared for the first time three days into testing and covered just 29 laps in the whole of the second test while the team addressed a host of problems including a computer virus attack.

Once the team conquered their initial problems the car ran well – they covered more than a grand prix distance on each of the last three days. “We now feel like we are in a good position to go racing,” said a relieved team principal John Booth.

Another encouraging development on the eve of the new season was the hiring of former Ferrari PR chief Luca Colajanni as partnership director. It’s an encouraging sign that F1’s smallest team is building for the future by aligning with the sport’s biggest name.

But it remains to be seen when this will translate to hard results on the track. Like fellow 2010 entrants Caterham, Marussia are still seeking their first point in Formula One.

Marussia’s F1 record

Championship position1110
Pole positions00

Over to you

Will a switch to Ferrari engines lift Marussia into midfield contention? Have your say in the comments.

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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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7 comments on “Marussia hoping Ferrari will power them to first points”

  1. The car seems quicker than Caterham, but a lot less reliable. They may run quick, but they will probably struggle to get many finishes under their belt, especially in the points. It’s also time for both drivers to deliver some good performances.

    1. I think Bianchi will push the car to limits and get ahead as much as he can and if bianchi was failed to finish a race then the ever reliable and last finisher is there to finish the race who never pushes hard (Pun intended)

    2. @craig-o I see much better reliability for Marussia in the future, I don’t know what is the point of running a turbo engine virtually turbo-less, at least Marussia are dealing with peripherals issues rather than actual components of the powertrain. I see incremental improvements for the Marussia in the past 3 years unlike the Caterham who keep making unwise choices. Caterham started very badly by employing Mike Gascoyne and even though they got rid of him things keep the same. Fernandes claims that the team has the tools to make it, I only see sloppy carbon pieces whereas the Marussia has had cleaner sensible designs whilst improving in all fields of engineering, Caterham want’s to make a twin-tusk style new nose when they don’t even know how to produce a good chassis, they are chasing the wrong targets, and therefore there is little life left for them. Marussia is going to beat them and unlike autosport people believe the Ferrari is going to serve them well at the start of the season.

  2. Pedro Sobota
    3rd March 2014, 14:12

    I can’t imagine how a computer virus would get into an F1 team computer in the paddock. Are they playing crappy online games or casino sites in there? Weird.

    1. Someone could have been in a hurry to transfer some files and failed to observe protocol. Don’t even be surprised if you hear the virus found its way into their systems via mobile phone.
      That aside, one can tell that they have gone for a very uncomplicated car and are hoping for reliability when the season starts.

  3. Hopefully they can get points.

    Just have to say again, I really, really want them to do well.

    Go go Bianchi! Go go Chilton! Go go Marussia!

  4. I think through the first two races (Australia and Malaysia) they will find their feet.

    until RBR find their feet and fix all problems and annihilate everyone. (I have been wrong in the past)

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