Thursday, May 2, 2013

Marussia could use Ferrari F1 Power units for 2014

Jules Bianchi
Among the most improved teams this year not many people expected to hear the name of the Russian car make, Marussia. They have not had too much visibility on television because Bernie has not signed the Concorde agreement with them, but in the hands of a young Frenchman they have quietly gone about their business.

Their chance association with young Jules Bianchi might also have brought them closer to an engine deal with the famous Italian marquee, Ferrari, as the sport looks to switch their power plants to a more efficient and high tech formula.

With their current engine supplier Cosworth not very keen on spending the amount of money necessary to develop the new and radical V6 power plants with turbo's and ERS (energy recovery systems), Marussia is on the look out for a new engine parter. 

Pat Symonds
With the demise of Cosworth, their only options seem to be Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault. Considering Renault have almost maxed out the number of teams they can service, Marussia realistically only have Ferrari and Mercedes to chose from until Honda or Totyota make their highly anticipated return into the sport.

Chief executive Andy Webb had said in March that the team intended to talk to both suppliers. Cost will surely be an important factor with new technologies when compared to the current engines, but Webb had indicated that the team wanted to make a decision “by the end of April”.

With April having come and gone, technical chief Pat Symonds has told Britain’s Sky Sports that a 2014 engine deal for Marussia is “close”.

Asked if the Frenchman’s presence has helped put a positive spin on the talks with Ferrari, Symonds admitted: “It absolutely hasn’t done us any harm, it’s brought us a little bit closer to Ferrari.

“But Ferrari genuinely wants more teams. Because everything is so new, I hesitate to call us guinea pigs or anything like that, but it’s better to have a few more samples of your product out there, finding out what goes wrong and what’s working.

“I think they wanted another team anyway and the contact through Jules has done nothing but help,” added Symonds.

In another interview to James Allen, Symonds also airs his thoughts on the teams new star, 
“I think Jules is a quality driver. It’s not a coincidence he is a Ferrari Academy driver. It’s very good to be working with Ferrari and helping develop one of their drivers. That said, I don’t want to give him up to Ferrari. I hope he stays with us for a while.”
“I came in as a consultant to look at the way Marussia could progress, so I would like to take a long term view,” added Symonds. “As we’re so small it’s quite difficult but I’m pleased with where we have got to this year.

“We are by far and away the most improved team on the grid. If you look at lap times between this year and last year, we are just way ahead of everyone else in terms of improvement. That is gratifying because it is still early days.”

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