Monday, February 27, 2012

News: Marussia Manor Racing gears up for GP3


Rotherham is still playing a key role in developing Formula One drivers of the future as the home of Marussia Manor Racing.

The Marussia F1 team recently moved from Rotherham to Banbury in Oxfordshire to be closer to McLaren, their technical partners for the 2012 season.

Rotherham-born John Booth remains as the team principal and the team's former headquarters at Dinnington is now home to the Marussia Manor GP3 team.

The GP3 series follows the Formula One European calendar and the emphasis is on developing driver skills, with all teams using the same chassis, engine and tyre suppliers.

GP3 race teams and cars will be equipped, based and resourced at the facility on the site of the former Dinnington colliery, just as Formula One teams and cars have been for the past two years.

As an integral part of the F1 setup, Booth announced his intention to use the GP3 team as part of a new driver development initiative. The reward for successful drivers could be a drive with the Marussia F1 Team.

Manor's pedigree is good. Previous graduates include Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen, who both went on to win the Formula One World Championship.

Rio Haryanto, who drove for Manor in GP3 and has been part of Marussia F1 Team Young Driver Programme for the past two years, has recently made the step up to GP2 and secured a drive for the newly-created Marussia Carlin GP2 Team in the 2012 season.

Twelve GP2 graduates will start on the 2012 F1 grid, including Marussia's newest driver, Charles Pic.

John Booth, team principal at Marussia F1, said: "Our Young Driver Programme now comprises all the racing categories that are key stepping stones for a driver to navigate their way to the very top and I am very proud of the support we can offer to the next generation of motor racing talent.

"Our Young Driver Programme is a big part of the Marussia F1 Team philosophy, but having spent many years helping to shape the future for many young drivers, it gives me great personal pleasure that we now have a comprehensive ladder that can take drivers with the best potential all the way to the very top."

Marussia Manor's GP3 drivers for 2012 are Russian Dmtry Suranovich, Brazilian Fabiano Machado (pictured, above during testing in Estoril) and Cypriot Tio Ellinas.

Peter Sliwinski, team principal at Marussia Manor GP3, said: "It's going to be another exciting season in GP3. We have worked very hard during the winter and the year ahead looks promising for us – I'm sure we can be up there with the top teams.

"I would like to welcome Dmitry, Fabiano and Tio to the team and wish them all a successful year. It's their first complete season in GP3, but they have already shown their potential and we are ready for the challenge."

Dmitry and Tio have already taken part in winter testing for the Marussia F1 team.

Manor Grand Prix was an unlikely name on the line up for the 2010 F1 season. The Rotherham team became Virgin Racing when they announced a link up with Richard Branson in December 2009. Russian company Marussia Motors acquired a significant shareholding in 2010 and the team became Marussia Virgin Racing. For the 2012 season, the team will be known as Marussia F1.

All GP2 and GP3 races will be shown on Sky as part of their new deal to screen F1.

Marussia F1 website



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