Marussia proceeded on a DRS activator change in 1stBahrain test . Particularly the team preferred to develop an external mechanism, contained in an aerodynamically shaped shell, to open the upper flap, in an attempt to enhance the efficiency of the movable flap to generate downforce .
Apart from the introduction of vertical twin element sidepod panel, a single short vane also appeared on the top of the sidepod, with both additions to offer better airflow management towards the rear of the car.
Airbox on M03 is very effective in regards of cooling. Beyond the main triangular inlet, there are two more additional openings to cool down internal mechanical parts ( i assume them to be the oil radiator and ERS components). Exploiting airbox zone allows mechanics to maintain sidepod inlets close to 2013 dimensions rather than enlarging them a lot. The appearance of the car now lacking the sculpted bodywork behind the driver’s head resembles more to monocoques prior to 1997 season . Worth’s taking into consideration that such a configuration is more draggy and suffers increased negative aero impact caused from driver’s helmet .
Finally a small but important cooling inlet exists where the engine cover starts to drop downwards to feed the gearbox radiator.
In Marussia case the nose ends to an interesting single keel extension with a tip as wide as necessary to obey the necessary minimum cross section dimensions (9000 square mm, highlighted in inset) . The nose keel starts wide but becomes gradually thinner at its tail to encourage more air flow under the nose cone , an approach not followed by Caterham. I focus on Caterham because it is expected to be the major rival for Marussia for one more season .
Front wing by first sight looks to share no similarities to last season, considered indeed a huge step forward for the team. The tier of the wing itself increased close to the endplates to a 7-element one (No 1), while the inner section (No 4) slops downwards keeping with the help of the brake vane located further behind, a smooth flow under the nose cone. The two Venturi channels (No 2) help to guide airflow away from tyre profile. Endplates though still are underdeveloped compared to progress done on other wing parts .
Marussia adopted on the M03 a complex combination of cockpit vanes, featuring two small winglets surrounding the aerodynamically shaped mirror mounting, followed by a single lateral strake of wider span . Such combinations have been already seen over past seasons on Lotus, Mc Laren, Mercedes and Ferrari . The shape and attack angle of the winglets actually create lift but they contribute stronger on decreasing the lift created by the sidepod tunnels .