Tag Archives: Chilton

Reliability Dividend – Marussia Cosworth MR02

In 2009 John Booth’s Manor Grand Prix was one of three teams selected to join the Formula One™ Chmpionship series in 2010, by which time the team had change it’s name to Virgin Racing in deference to their principle backer the Virgin budget airline.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

None of the three new teams did particularly well in 2010 and Virgin racing finished the season with the Championships would spoon for scoring a seaoson high two 14th place finishes like Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) but with only one 15th place were unable to match the Spanish teams three 15th place finishes.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

In 2011 Russian automobile manufacturer and sponsor Marussia’s increased involvement in the team was recognised by a change of name to Marussia Virgin Racing but the team finished the season with a second consecutive wooden spoon with three season high 15th place finishes unable to match the single 13 th place finish scored by HRT.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, British GP P1, Silverstone

In 2012 the team became known as the Marussia F1 Team as Virgin ceased it’s involvement after two disappointing years. With two season high 14th place race finishes Marussia finally bested HRT who could only manage a season high 15th place race finishes before the Spanish team folded at the season’s end.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Bianchi, British GP P1, Silverstone

Rookies Jules Bianchi, seen above during Practice Session 1 (P1) of the British Grand Prix and Max Chilton, seen during the Young Driver Test below joined Marussia for 2013.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Chilton, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Marussia also hired former Renault Technical Director Pat Symonds to act as a consultant and employed input from McLaren Applied Technologies wind tunnel on their MR02 design.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, González, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

By now Marrusia were the only team still using the most affordable but unfancied Cosworth V8 spec motors, closest rivals Caterham having switched to Renault power in 2011. Venezuelan test driver Rodolfo González is seen driving the Marussia Cosworth MR02 during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone above.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Despite regularly qualifying behind the Renault powered Caterhams Jules managed not only to regularly out qualify team mate Max but against expectations Max also finished a season high 13th in Malaysia which turned out to be enough to save Marussia from regaining the Formula One wooden spoon in 2013.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Max meanwhile became the first rookie in the history of Formula One to finish every race of the entire season, Jules had three retirements, a finishing feat only matched in 2013 by seasoned McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Chilton, British GP P2, Silverstone

For the first time in the teams history Marussia will keep the same driver line up for 2014 while much else changes, Pat Symonds has been snapped up by the, relative to their own Championship winning standards, struggling Williams team.

So far we know that Marussia will employ a Ferrari power train on the 2014 MR03 design, to keep abreast of Marussia’s developments you might try joining the fastest growing Formula One Team facebook page on this link or try Marussia’s official web site here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Reliability Dividend” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a field full of Indiana State law enforcement vehicles. Don’t forget to come back now !


Number 2 Drivers – British Grand Prix

Last Friday I popped along to Silverstone last Friday to see the first two practice sessions for the British Grand Prix. This was my first visit to Silverstone for Formula One action since 1981 when John Watson won the race for McLaren.

Rosberg, Mercedes Benz, F1 W04, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Today’s blog focuses on how the 11 teams number 2 drivers got on, above Nico Rosberg driving his Mercedes F1 W04 finished the opening day of practice at the top of the time sheets. Nico qualified second for the race and won after team mate Lewis Hamilton blew a tyre and then Sebastian Vettel retired with transmission problems. Despite having visiting pit row for the second time this season, twice more than his team mate Nico is still three seven points behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who has yet to win and fifty points behind Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Webber , Red Bull Renault, RB9, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Last years British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber, seen driving his Red Bull Renault RB9 above, similarly set a faster time than his team mate Sebastian Vettel on the opening day of practice. Mark qualified 4th behind his team mate for the race and dropped to 15th after making contact with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap and recovered to finish in second place on his final British Grand Prix appearance. Mark announced at the British Grand Prix that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season and joining Porsche’s Le Mans program for 2014.

Massa , Ferrari, F138, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is seen driving his F138 in the first practice session he was slowest of the the eleven drivers to set a time in the morning and in the afternoon knocked a wheel of the front when he came off the drying track in the afternoon and again set the slowest time of the 22 drivers in the afternoon. Felipe could only qualify 12th for the race, but despite a high speed blow out did well to recover a sixth place finish by the end of the race.

Sutil , Force India Mercedes, VJM06, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Adrian Sutil driving a Mercedes powered Force India VJM06 set 8th fastest time on day one, qualified 7th for the race and spent a long period running in third place behind Vettel and Rosberg but then got swamped at the end to finish 7th.

Ricciardo, Torro Rosso Ferrari, STR8, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Daniel Ricciardo one of several drivers in the frame to replace the retiring Mark Webber at Red Bull, finished the opening practice session at the top of the time sheets, he qualified his Ferrari powered Torro Rosso STR8 an impressive 6th, seven places ahead of his team mate Jean Eric Vergne. After running in 4th place for much of the race he too was swamped at the end to finish 8th.

Bottas, Williams Renault, FW35, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Williams were celebrating the 600th Grand Pix at Silverstone unfortunately Valtteri Bottas driving his Renault powered FW35 could not repeat his fine Canadian 7th fastest qualifying performance. Starting 16th Valttteri came home 12th in the race.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari, C32, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Mexico’s Esteban Gutiérrez started the British Grand Prix from 17th place on the grid in his Ferrari powered Sauber C32 and climbed to 14th by the end of the race.

Chilton, Marussia Cosworth, MR02, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Max Chilton in the Cosworth powered Marrusia MR02 was the slowest qualifier but thanks to penalties for Paul di Resta and Giedo van der Garde he started his home Grand Prix from 20th and finished 17th.

van der Garde, Caterham Renault, CT03, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

van der Garde started the British Grand Prix from last place after ignoring blue flags, shown to signal that he was about to be lapped, in Canada and finished the race 18th and last unlapped runner.

Grosjean, Lotus Renault, E21, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Driving his Renault powered Lotus E21 Romain Grosjean started the British Grand Prix from 7th on the grid but was involved in a collision with Mark Webber on the opening lap he finished the race 19th 1 lap down last car still running.

Perez, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-28, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Finally Sergio Pérez suffered a tyre failure during practice on the opening day that would be a portent for 4 similar failures on race day. Starting from 13th on the grid Sergio suffered a second puncture on race day that forced his retirement due to the damage to his Mercedes powered McLaren MP4-28 caused by the flailing remains of the tyre on lap on lap 46.

More on the British Grand Prix at Motorsports Unplugged.

Thanks for joining me on this “Number 2 Drivers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for an Independence Day edition tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !