The Manor F1 Team have revealed the initial car they will be using during the 2015 Formula 1 season has passed its mandatory crash tests and will be shipped to Australia this week.
After revealing that Stephen Fitzpatrick was the investor who saved the team from extinction yesterday, the team have now announced that they have overcome the final hurdle to enable them to compete in the Australian Grand Prix next weekend.
“Our big news of today is that we have now passed the FIA crash tests,” said a tweet on the team’s official Twitter page. “Well done team! That’s it – we’re all set for Melbourne!”
The team have been forced to adapt the 2014 Marussia car for the start of the season, with Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon describing what they have had to change in order to make the car legal for 2015.
“It’s the 2014 car with a very high degree of carry over, and then some really quite clever engineering solutions to make sure it is fully compliant with the rules,” said Lowdon to Autosport.
“The nose is different and the chassis has to be modified, with added zylon safety panels.
“Some very clever engineers have used their time and solved their technical problems to deliver us a fully legal car but with a very high degree of carry over due to the time scale.”
Lowdon has also revealed that the introduction of the true 2015-spec car will only be made once the first few flyaway races are complete, with a mid-season roll-out the most likely scenario.
“There is a window, and it is not as straightforward as it would seem,” revealed Lowdon, again to Autosport. “You would think you must do it as quickly as you possibly can, but then we have to take into account the number of engines for the year.
“So, if you change engines (the 2015 car will run a current engine) at a certain time, you are going to get penalties.
“Also bringing in the new car at certain times, you can optimise when you would do an aero step change for example. The window to bring it in is quite wide at the minute, as it has not been our real focus, and that will narrow.
“My guess is we will get back from the flyaways and that window [to introduce it] will start narrowing down. It depends also on what happens in the first few races, as that will have an impact.
“We just have to make a decision at the time. We have not got much time until Melbourne, but we have a fair amount of time after that to look at the optimum time to do bring the new car.”
The announcement on Will Stevens’ team-mate should be imminent, with time running out ahead of the first grand prix of the season.