Marussia are bringing upgrades for their MR02 this weekend which should put them further ahead of closest rivals Caterham.
“While we would not call the upgrades we have for this race comprehensive, they are still significant,” said team principal John Booth.
“We will be running some new suspension parts that we proved out in testing but delayed until we had some further race distance experience with the MR02. We also have some new front and rear brake ducts.”
Booth added the team will make a “bigger push” on development once the series returns to Europe at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
Marussia finished behind Caterham in the championship last year but have been ahead of their rivals since the series began.
Caterham have previously said the next major step on their CT03 will also come once the ‘European season’ begins. Charles Pic is hoping set-up improvements for this weekend’s race will give him a better car:
“On Friday and Saturday morning we’ll also be working on several performance areas that the team has been looking at since Malaysia, particularly around dialing out the understeer issues I had in Australia and Malaysia. We have a few setup options to try to help with that, and some ideas we’re going to look at with Pirelli so I’m sure we can make good progress on that.”
However he will miss the first practice session on Friday as local driver Ma Qing Hua makes a one-off appearance at the wheel of the Caterham.