Marussia team chief John Booth believes the Circuit de Catalunya will provide the acid test for his marque’s latest raft of new developments this weekend.
After four long-haul races to start the campaign, the teams were given a rare in-season opportunity last week to make improvements to the cars courtesy of a three-day test in Mugello.
With Marussia, like Caterham and HRT, still chasing their first point in Formula One, the Banbury-based outfit at least have the edge on their rivals so far this season.
Timo Glock’s 14th-placed finish in Australia means Marussia – the former Dinnington-based Virgin team – are 10th in the constructors’ championship, but with Yorkshireman Booth naturally hoping to make further progress from this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
“The Circuit de Catalunya is a bit like an old glove in that it is a track we know so well and feel very comfortable with,” said Booth.
“If a package works well here then it is a good barometer of how much of a step forward we have made, more so than Mugello, where we saw a clear step forward but at what is a less representative circuit.
“Barcelona has a bit of everything in terms of circuit characteristics, so it should showcase just how much of an improvement our improvements are.
“Although we are only too aware the rest of the field has not been standing still over the past few weeks.”
With Barcelona close to home, and the start of F1’s European rounds of the 20-race season interspersed only by a trip to Canada next month, the strain on all the teams is lessened somewhat.
“It feels good to be heading back to Europe,” added Booth. “With the trucks and motorhome to hand, it feels like we could almost be back at the factory in Banbury when we’re racing.
“Our start to the season was certainly expeditious but we’ve caught up with ourselves a little now, have a far better understanding of the car, and we consolidated our learnings at the test last week. We seem to have developed a good rhythm now and we are on a good trajectory.”