Marussia has been forced to skip the forthcoming Barcelona test after the new car failed an FIA crash test.
It means that the team may end up going to Australia without running the car unless it can fit in a shakedown somewhere – and that is assuming that it eventually does pass the test in time to be able to compete in Melbourne.
The news comes as a big blow to Charles Pic, who needs all the mileage he can get.
A statement said: “The Marussia F1 Team is disappointed to confirm that the planned first test of its 2012 race car – the MR01 – has been delayed as a consequence of not passing the final FIA crash test.
“All cars are required to pass 18 FIA-observed tests for homologation to be granted. Despite the fact that the MR01 has passed all 17 of the preceding tests, the regulations require the car to have completed all of the tests before running commences.
“The team will now not take part in the final pre-season test in Barcelona later this week (1-4 March) and will instead focus its efforts on repeating the crash test at the end of the week.”