Marussia F1 Team, formerly known as Virgin, has failed FIA’s mandatory crash test, and won’t be able to test its MR01 (pic shows last year’s car) ahead of the 2012 F1 season’s first race in Australia.

The car did not pass the last of the 18 crash tests required. This is the first time cars have to pass crash tests for pre-season testing – they previously had to pass before the first race.

“We are 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.

“We 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,” the team said in a statement.