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 .
Marussia brought a common aero feature for the high downforce Monaco circuit, a small winglet located on the central zone of the beam wing .
The new rear wing design, launched at last pre session test, has a taller and rocket shaped carapace of the DRS activator and reshaped planes with double flap fasteners instead of three .
At China a small single vertical flow guide was added on top of the sidepod to counter fight the lift created by sidepod’s shape which resembles to a down facing winglet . These vertical vanes are common in F1 since a long time ago. For example Caterham current cars race with a combination of three .
All teams are accustomed to bring new parts at the first European race, so did Marussia. The upgrade package included new floor and modified front wing with a slot-less second flap to favor downforce production . The funnel at the back of the engine cover, which was used in hot Bahraini conditions, was also discarded .
At Monaco the previous front wing spec reappeared once again, but did not make it to race.
A small but apparently significant change occurred on the rear profile of the endplate, so as to change the way airflow interacts with the tyre . Worth’s noticing the new fancy sponsor logo on the endplate surface, which may have no impact on the car’s speed, but beyond doubt ensures team’s future speed .