The Marussia F1 team has revised its preseason plans and will not attend the first test at Jerez in order to concentrate on the development of the new car.
The team was expected to run last year's car in the opening test on Feb. 7-10 to give new driver Charles Pic some track time ahead of his grand prix debut this year. Team consultant Pat Symonds told AUTOSPORT last week that the squad was aiming to have its new car ready for the second test at Barcelona.
Marussia, however, has now decided to skip the first test altogether and is now aiming to run the new MR01 in the third test at Barcelona on March 1. The team will use last year's car in the second test, also at Barcelona, when it will kick off its on-track preparations.
Team boss John Booth believes the extra time to work on the new car will allow Marussia to be better prepared when it hits the track.
"We had been looking to take part in that test with the 2011 MVR-02 for the purpose of providing Charles with some valuable running to assist with the preparation for his debut season," explained Booth. "This was with a view to introducing the new car, the MR01, at Barcelona two weeks later.
"As our technical consultant Pat Symonds has stated publicly, the MR01 will be almost entirely 'new,' with very little carryover from 2011. The new car also has some interesting and complex mechanical concepts and it is taking time for us to get to grips with these.
"Unfortunately, our program has slipped and there seems little point in fielding the new car before we can optimize the run plan for it. For that reason we have decided to commence our on-track testing by attending the second test in Barcelona with the MVR-02. We then aim to introduce the MR01 at the third test in Barcelona in March.
"While this is not ideal, and not the timescale we had intended to work to, we will at least get some important running with the new car ahead of Australia and hopefully gain more constructive track time than we might otherwise have achieved had we rushed the car out for the second test."