Marussia Virgin Racing is planning to introduce a major update to the rear end of its car for next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, ramping up efforts to improve its technical operation.
The revisions to the car, which had originally been penciled in for the British Grand Prix but were dropped in the wake of its operational reshuffle, have been rescheduled for Monza because technical consultant Pat Symonds believes they will deliver a good step forward in pace.
"We had an update in the pipeline for Silverstone, and we sidelined it because we did not think it was worth the effort at the time," explained team principal John Booth, "but as Pat got to grips with the CFD evaluation of it, and looked into it a bit deeper, he thought it was well worth doing, so he pressed the button on that. We will have it, all being well, for Monza."
Speaking about the extent of the revisions, Booth said: "It is engine cover, sidepods, exhaust, and rear floor. Obviously there will be a Monza wing as well, but this bodywork package will be on for the rest of the year. It will pull the whole back of the car in much tighter. That has not really interrupted our 2012 progress because much of the design work was done; it was just a question of tidying it up and accommodating it."
Virgin has spent recent months focusing on an overhaul of its operation, with plans for a factory move from its current Dinnington base in Yorkshire to its new Banbury facility now slated for late November.
"Things have been pretty hectic," explained Booth. "As you can imagine, first of all we had to make a decision about where we were going to base ourselves. We took the decision for it to be Banbury for the forthcoming years.
"It was not up to spec as a Formula 1 facility, so we had to get the architects in and get ready to accept the race team, and update our new facility. But it was the obvious thing to do as we could keep our design team running without any interruption. The design team have got a nice new office down there; all the CAD stations are there, so it has been good to keep them running totally uninterrupted at a critical time. So we have designed the rest of the factory around them.
"The commercial team office is now finished, and they are moving this week. Then the race team will move in on the return from the Brazilian Grand Prix, so that makes it nice and clean – going straight to the new place."