Date: 9th February 2015 at 9:31am
Written by:

Marussia’s potential return to Formula One looked to have been blocked by Force India, but the team now operating under the banner Manor F1 are pushing on regardless.

The Marussia Formula One team had aimed to return to the sport in 2015 after missing out on the final three races of the 2014 Formula One season after Russian backer Andrey Cheglakov pulled financial backing for the team.

Marussia soon entered administration and had been set to sell off all assets of the team at an auction.

That auction was recently cancelled as the administrators were happy that new investment opportunities to save the team had enough credibility.

Something that had aided Marussia to find investment was their ninth place finish in the constructors championship table.

That finish was worth in excess of £30million, which has in turn been used to help clear the debts and agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement agreed with team’s creditors.

The team were all set to exit administration on February 19th, but it would appear that Force India have thrown a spanner in the works.

At the Formula 1 commission meeting on Thursday, the proposal to allow Marussia to take part next season with a 2014 car was blocked.

Whilst a number of teams were against the idea, only Force India actually voted against the plan.

It turns out that as the proposal needed unanimous support, the vote ended as soon as Force India made their stance clear and it: ‘just so happened Force India were the first to vote’ Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley told the BBC .

He also denied that the decision was based on money. If Marussia do not make the grid their £30+ million 2014 prize fund would be split between all of the existing teams.

‘£4million to the team is nice but not the driver for the decision.’ he added.

But despite the knock, Marussia are pushing on with their plans regardless as they believe they have been given permissions to begin the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championships with a modified 2014 car.

The team hold an entry for 2015 under the name Manor Grand Prix and claim that they and Caterham have already been given special dispensation to run modified 2014 cars whilst they continue to work on a new 2015 car.

– On 17 December 2014, the team made a request to the Strategy Group to consider allowing it to use a 2014 race car, modified to meet certain 2015 regulations, for part of the 2015 season. Following analysis, the team highlighted that this would need some form of dispensation on only a small number of clauses in the Regulations.

– Subsequent to this application, the team was informed on 5 January 2015, that the Strategy Group felt that two teams – Marussia and Caterham – should be permitted to race a 2014 car in the 2015 championship. The letter stated that the Strategy Group agreed that the car should comply with all of the 2015 technical regulations, with the exception of four articles, those articles being Articles 3.7.9, 15.4.3, 15.4.4 and 16.2. The team can confirm that the modifications to its 2014 car would meet this stipulation.
a statement read on Manor Grand Prix’s Facebook page.

It continued: – The team has been busy preparing its 2014 cars such that they comply with the stipulations of the Strategy Group and at the same time it is pressing on with the development of its 2015 car to ensure it can supersede the 2014 car as soon as possible.

– The team has a significant number of staff already working on both its 2014 and 2015 cars. It also has the benefit of being able to recruit further staff very quickly from the rich pool of experienced and talented F1 personnel who were left unemployed following the closure of Marussia and Caterham and due to job cuts made by other teams in the sport.


Former Marussia team boss Graeme Lowdon who remains with the team added: ‘…we are proceeding with our clear process regarding compliance and building our operation. We are doing everything possible to adhere to the process set out for us to return to the 2015 grid. This is a fantastic good news story for the whole sport and we just want to go racing.?