Marussia reveal KERS powered car during F1 testing in Jerez

Testing is taking place today at the Circuito de Jerez

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The Independent Online

Marussia today finally stepped on to a more level playing field with their Formula One rivals as pre-season cranked into life.

Just 45 minutes prior to the start of the first test at the Circuito de Jerez, the Banbury-based marque unveiled the MR02 that now boasts KERS (kinetic energy recovery system).

The team are convinced the lack of KERS last season resulted in them missing out on 10th place in the constructors' standings, and with it a considerable sum of money.

But with the device now on the car, team principal John Booth has no doubt a more robust challenge is on the cards, despite his rookie line-up.

Briton Max Chilton has already secured one seat and Brazilian Luiz Razia is expected to be confirmed soon.

Booth said: "We embark on the first pre-season test of 2013 feeling very positive about our new car.

"It was said many times during 2012 the lack of KERS was the defining factor in determining our championship position.

"KERS was a strategic omission from our package until now. We opted to place the emphasis on aerodynamics.

"Our trackside engineering team has spent the winter preparing for the addition of KERS to ensure we can hit the ground running with effect from this week and use the short period of testing we have to get the car optimised for Melbourne.

"It is early days in our pre-season development programme, but there is a great deal of optimism amongst the team for what lies ahead."

Thirty minutes after Marussia, Caterham showed off their CT03 with drivers Charles Pic, signed from Marussia, and another rookie in Dutchman Giedo van der Garde.

Caterham pinched the all-important 10th place from Marussia in the final race of last season in Brazil when Vitaly Petrov claimed 11th at Interlagos.

The Leafield-based marque, however, opted to dispense with Petrov and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen for this season and opt for a relatively inexperienced pairing.

However, like Marussia, they are yet to score a point in the three years have been competing in F1.

Despite that, team principal Cyril Abiteboul, ahead of his first full campaign in charge after taking up the reins towards the end of last year, said: "This is the first car we have produced since I joined the team so this is a proud day for me.

"Driving the cars this year are Charles and Giedo, two drivers who give us a good mix of youth and experience inside and outside Formula One.

"They are both young and dynamic, and we expect their enthusiasm for the sport and the team will be fuelling our growth.

"They also provide clear proof of our dedication to developing young driver talent."

On track, Jenson Button suffered an early issue with his McLaren as the 33-year-old stopped on track on just his third lap.

For Mercedes, early pacesetter Nico Rosberg suffered a spin, and like Button, had to be rescued and returned to the pits on a flatbed truck.