Motor racing-Marussia debut new car pending final crash test

LONDON, March 5 Mon Mar 5, 2012 12:02pm GMT

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LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Marussia gave their new Formula One car its track debut at Silverstone on Monday despite it still having to overcome a final crash test hurdle before the opening race of the season in Australia next week.

The Russian-licensed former Virgin Racing team said in a statement that the Cosworth-powered MR01 had been rolled out for the first of two limited-mileage promotional events on demonstration tyres.

The season starts in Melbourne on March 18.

British-based Marussia, whose drivers are experienced German Timo Glock and French rookie Charles Pic, were unable to run the car at the final pre-season test in Barcelona last week after it failed a mandatory 18th and final crash test.

Teams are not allowed to take part in official testing without their cars being signed off by the governing International Automobile Federation but that restriction does not apply to promotional and filming events.

There was no mention of the crash test problem in the statement but the team said separately they were close to resolving it.

"The component in question has actually passed an 'unobserved' crash test but has been performing inconsistently in the observed tests," said the team's technical consultant Pat Symonds.

"The fail has only been marginal but, nonetheless, we need to completely eradicate that margin and as such we are taking the time we have to ensure we have an even more robust solution in place."

Team principal John Booth said it had been "a long and frustrating wait for everyone" to get the car running.

"We can now get back on track - literally - and start working towards the first race of the season in Australia," he added.

"Today is the first of two promotional events, so while the drivers will be able to get a feel for the car, they won't be able to draw any real conclusions until we start running in anger in Melbourne." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)

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