Marussia to miss first pre-season test

London: The Russian-backed Marussia Formula One team have ruled out taking part in next month`s first pre-season test in Spain because their new car will not be ready until March.

Marussia said on Tuesday their revised plan was to run last year`s car at the second test in Barcelona from February 21 and then the new car at the same circuit from March 1. The first pre-season test is in Jerez from February 7-10.

"We had been looking to take part in that (first) test with the 2011 MVR-02 for the purpose of providing Charles (Pic) with some valuable running to assist with the preparation for his debut season," team principal John Booth told

"This was with a view to introducing the new car, the MR01, at Barcelona two weeks later."

The British-based team, formerly Virgin Racing, finished last in the standings last year and have yet to score a point since their debut in 2010.

Their race drivers this year will be Germany`s Timo Glock and French rookie Pic, who did his first laps in a Formula One car only last November in a young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

"Unfortunately our programme has slipped and there seems little point in fielding the new car before we can optimise the run plan for it," said Booth.

"Whilst this is not ideal...we will at least get some important running with the new car ahead of Australia and hopefully gain more constructive track time than we might otherwise have achieved had we rushed the car out for the second test."

The season starts in Melbourne on March 18.

Bureau Report