The former Virgin team will not give its new single seater its official track debut until Barcelona — the second winter test of the forthcoming 2012 pre-season.
That news raised expectations that the car, headed technically by the highly rated former Renault man Pat Symonds, could be a radical departure from the cars that finished the 2010 and 2011 seasons dead last.
Writing in the German-language Speed Week, Peter Hesseler cited Symonds in saying that the 2012 Marussia “will have little in common” with its Virgin predecessor.
But Symonds reportedly thinks the team’s spot at the very bottom of the constructors’ standings means the priority is a new car with “high quality” rather than innovation.
The goal for 2012, therefore, is to move into the midfield.
International media reports, meanwhile, say the former Renault team – now Lotus – has got its 2012 single seater through the FIA’s mandatory crash tests.
The news means the car is now ready to make its official track debut in Kimi Raikkonen’s hands at Jerez early next month.