Marussia bid to improve reliability

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MARUSSIA Virgin Racing hope a tactical switch-up will lead to a change in fortunes when the 2011 Formula One season begins in Australia this weekend.

The Dinnington-based team want drivers Timo Glock and Jerome d’Ambrosio to consistently finish races. To make it a reality, president Graeme Lowdon says the Russian-backed outfit have focused more in the off season on improving reliability.

“We put more emphasis on car performance last year than the other new teams and it cost us in the end,” he told The Star. “We qualified quicker than the other new teams but we didn’t have the reliability in the first few races and we never regained that position in the championship, although we quite clearly had a quicker car.

“Reliability rather than performance is our top priority.”

Meanwhile, Marussia have drafted in Sakon Yamamoto as their reserve driver for the first three grands prix.

The 28-year-old Japanese driver, who drove for Hispania Racing in seven of the final 10 races of last season, said: “I really appreciate the team giving me a chance to be here.

“They have made a big step forward this year and I believe that I can contribute to their car development through my experience.”