Marussia poised for 2013 F1 breakthrough - Graeme Lowdon
|By Edd Straw and Matt Beer||Tuesday, November 13th 2012, 15:03 GMT|
Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon believes his team is now "on a roll" and poised for a breakthrough 2013 Formula 1 season - especially if it can hang on to 10th in the constructors' championship.
The former Virgin squad has been edging closer to main rival Caterham during the 2012 campaign, and is now ahead in the standings thanks to Timo Glock's 12th place in the Singapore Grand Prix.
Marussia's year got off to a troubled start when delays in passing final crash tests meant its only pre-season running was a short 'filming' outing at Silverstone.
With the team poised to use KERS for the first time in 2013, and with its new technical structure bedding in, Lowdon reckons there are solid reasons why next year will be a far better season.
"The whole team both at Banbury and the track have worked so hard under very, very difficult circumstances [in 2012]," he told AUTOSPORT.
"No testing, everyone knows our budget is way, way less [than most rivals'], but I think we're on a development roll and everyone's more excited about the 2013 prospects.
"The tech regs are staying similar-ish. We're bolting KERS on, we know how many tenths it's going to bring.
"The aero work looks really good for next year's car as well and everyone's really excited about where the team's going."
Providing a Caterham does not finish 12th or higher in either of the season's two remaining grands prix, Marussia will secure 10th in the championship and the financial boost that goes with it.
Lowdon fears the finale in Brazil will be the major threat to Marussia's position, both because of Caterham's KERS advantage and the increased likelihood of a chaotic race.
"The assumption was that Brazil would be the joker that could throw anything up," said Lowdon.
"It's a massive advantage having KERS in Brazil because you're at altitude. So we know they'll have a straightforward advantage in horsepower and plenty of chances to use it."