Marussia edging closer to Ferrari engine deal
Engine rules are changing radically for the 2014 season with 1.6 litre V6 power plants replacing the sports current 2.4 litre V8 engine. Marussia appear to be choosing between Mercedes and Ferrari, with the latter appearing to sway the vote.
Chief Executive Andy Webb said back in March that “We’ll talk with both,”
He also commented on one of the significant factors for choosing the engine deal, the price of the engine and energy-recovery “ERS” package. This is because prices are comparably higher than the current V8 engines and KERS units, “will be an important factor”.
Webb said that the decision would be made “by the end of April” but that deadline has been and gone with no decision being made.
However Pat Symonds has now indicated that Ferrari could be the best possible move for the team. He ruled out Renault as they apparently have “enough on their plate” powering Red Bull, Lotus and Caterham.
A deal is reportedly “close” according to Symonds, who was talking to Sky Sports F1, and the signing of Ferrari academy driver Jules Bianchi has certainly not hurt discussions. “It absolutely hasn’t done us any harm, it’s brought us a little bit closer to Ferrari.”
He added “But Ferrari genuinely wants more teams. Because everything is so new, I hesitate to call us guinea pigs or anything like that, but it’s better to have a few more samples of your product out there, finding out what goes wrong and what’s working.”
Ferrari currently supply their own team with engines alongside Sauber and Toro Rosso. However the latter are reportedly keen on moving to Renault power for 2014.
Symonds continued “I think they wanted another team anyway and the contact through Jules has done nothing but help,”
Cost is a big factor for a back marker like Marussia and the choice in engine supplier for 2014 is a big decision for the team.
Cosworth are not looking to make an engine for the 2014 season due to the high costs involved in creating the new power plant, so the Marussia team don’t have long to make their mind up as development switches to the 2014 car.
Image courtesy of Marussia F1 Team
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.