Marussia’s switch to Ferrari engines next season represents a “huge step forward,” according to sporting director Graeme Lowdon.
The team has raced with Cosworth power since joining the Formula 1 grid as Virgin at the start of 2010, but Lowden believes Ferrari engines will help it to achieve a level playing field with its rivals.
“It will be a huge step forward in terms of degree of parity compared to some of the other teams,” Lowden said. “The ideal scenario for us at our stage of development would either be maintaining the current rules or an enormous change and 2014 is the latter.
“We are confident Ferrari has made lots of the right decisions in its powertrain so we are really confident that, married with the car we have already designed, we are in a good position. This is the kind of step change we really need and we are quietly optimistic about the performance of the 2014 car.”
The Ferrari deal includes a gearbox supply, which will free up more resources within Marussia for working on the car. While the cost of its engines will be significantly higher in 2014, Marussia will no longer have to devote man hours into working on its gearbox with Xtrac.
“There will be a strong focus on the chassis,” said Lowdon. “At the moment, we do a lot on the gearbox side and, unlike some of our immediate competitors, we don’t currently buy a gearbox. The good side of that is we understand that side of the car very well and that will be a plus point in working with Ferrari.
“Looking at the 2014 powertrains, the various strategies on how you use it will be a key area. The fact we understand a big chunk of that already, because we are feeding back into the design of what is effectively our own gearbox, is a useful skill set.”