Marussia 2013 car on schedule

Marussia's 2013 car is on schedule to make the first pre-season test according to team principal Graeme Lowdon.

Marussia used its 2011 car for the first tests of 2012, and the new MVR-02 only made its track debut in the final session at Barcelona before the first race of the season in Australia.

The team's plans were delayed by its failure to pass some of the mandatory crash tests.

Lowdon is adamant, however, that Marussia is now well on schedule with the MVR-03 thanks to the new technical structure put in place after the exit of Nick Wirth.

The first test of 2013 takes place at Jerez on February 5.

"It's on target at the moment, and in fact some bits are ahead," Lowdon told AUTOSPORT. "We've got a high degree of confidence. We've got a totally different structure now.

"This will be our first car that's truly our car in terms of the new people involved. The car we've just finished with was a full CFD car when we hit the first race."

Marussia finished in 11th position in this year's constructors' championship despite holding 10th place following the Singapore Grand Prix.

Heartbreakingly for the team, however, Caterham re-took 10th in the final race of the season in Brazil.

Despite losing out to its rival, Lowdon is convinced Marussia is a top 10 squad.

"I definitely think this is a top 10 team. We didn't have a top 10 car, and that's something that takes time and money," he said.

"Look at Brazil, Timo's fastest stop was faster than all the stops McLaren did. People don't notice that kind of thing, but we've now got a very, very good team. A really good structure, very tight-knit and a very low cost base.

"If we have a car that's capable of quicker laptimes, which is the other piece of the jigsaw - and everything I've seen is that next year's car is going to be a really good car - then you can't write this team off.

"I'm perfectly happy to call this team a top 10 team even if the results don't show it. I'm looking forward to Melbourne."