Belgian Grand Prix: Marussia to press ahead with upgrade despite loss of Friday running

Marussia will run a significant upgrade to its MR01 for the rest of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend despite being unable to gather any data during Friday's two wet free practice sessions at Spa

Belgian Grand Prix: Marussia to press ahead with upgrade despite loss of Friday running

The team brought a big package to Belgium, consisting of several new parts including new bridge wings, bodywork and tea tray, exhausts, flick-ups on the rear brake hubs, and a completely new concept rear wing.

It is the second big upgrade Marussia has been able to produce this year using McLaren's windtunnel, as part of its technical agreement with the Woking outfit, and the team hopes it could be worth as much as half a second in race trim.

But Marussia decided not to run some elements of the upgrade during Friday's sessions, including the rear wings, given the lack of information it was likely to gather and the potential for damage.

"It's all part of a package, so unless it's all on the car we're not learning much," team principal John Booth told AUTOSPORT.

"We will definitely run it all tomorrow now. There's no point in not doing so.

"It was a shame we couldn't find out more about them today, and see whether the aero data from the track correlates with what we expect from the upgrade, but hopefully we can find out more in P3."

Marussia's chief race engineer Dave Greenwood added that the latest upgrade was part of a deeper programme of improvement that he expected to pay dividends through the rest of the year.

"I think it's easy sometimes to look at the classification sheet and see the gaps and the positions at the end of the race and not think that there are improvements being made but that's not the case," he said. "But if you look at the underlying pace that's getting a lot better.

"We started the season around 4.5 per cent off the leaders in the race and it's somewhere around 2-2.5 per cent now, so that's a good improvement and going forward that will look even better when we have these upgrades and at the end of the year the gaps will be significantly less."

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