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Marussia close in on 2015 return – McLaren deny any involvement
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  04 Feb 2015   |  11:52 am GMT  |  103 comments

The embattled Marussia team is closing in on a return to the Formula One grid with the outfit reportedly having paid its 2015 entry fee.

JAonF1 understands that the third party rescue discussions that brought a halt to a planned auction of team assets last months have reach the stage where the team has received the funding required to lodge its entry for the season and to come out of administration later this month.

There are suggestions from Sky News’ Mark Kleinman that Justin King, the former CEO of Sainsburys supermarkets in the UK is involved in the consortium. His son Jordan is working his way up the racing ladder and will be in GP2 this season.

King is close friends with McLaren boss Ron Dennis, which has also raised speculation that McLaren is somehow involved in this rescue plan. But a McLaren spokesman confirmed that there is no truth in the team’s involvement.

Honda is “open minded” about running a B team, possibly from next season onwards, but is not pressing for them. With a challenging new package to bed in for this season, the shared objective with of both Honda and Mclaren is to make the 2015 car work and perform. So any further development involving second teams is at best on a back burner.

Marussia has business links with McLaren from use of the wind tunnel, simulator and strategy tools. But if McLaren and Honda were to support a B team, its not clear that Marussia or Manor would be the team they would opt to go with.

The Marussia/Manor rescue will feature on the agenda at tomorrow’s F1 Strategy Group meeting, with Force India believed to be keen to argue against the team being readmitted, as the team’s $50 million prize money would be redistributed among the other teams if it were not to race in 2015. However the F1 Strategy Group goes with a majority vote and it would be interesting to see what the FIA would do with its 33.3% vote and the other teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. Red Bull boss Christian Horner indicated that the big teams supported the idea of a tenth team, but might some attitudes change now that they know King is involved?

News of the emergence from administration comes from Marussia’s administrators FRP Advisory, which issued a statement explaining that the team will later this month enter into a Company Voluntary Arrangement, which effectively allows it to trade while insolvent and schedule payments to debtors over a period of time.

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“Since the appointment of administrators, negotiations have taken place with a number of parties to try and secure a long term solution for the team,” the FRP statement read.

“We can confirm that negotiations continue towards a longer term viable solution for the business and participation of a team in the 2015 season.

“It is envisaged that, prior to the commencement of the first race of the 2015 season, investment into the business will be made upon the company exiting from administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (‘CVA’), which is planned for 19 February 2015.

“A CVA is a restructuring process agreed with the company’s creditors which allows for a turnaround of the business and the creation of a longer term viable solution for the team.”

With the team’s prospects looking positive there still remains the thorny issue of just what cars it will race in 2015 and what power units it will use.

The first of those hurdles could be overcome on Thursday when the F1 Strategy Group will discuss allowing the team to run 2014 cars. According to insiders that outcome is being viewed favourably, with one insider saying that “anything that gets more cars on the grid is a good thing”.

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1

Maybe it’s better to watch less cars with very good racing than lotsa cars with smaller teams getting in the way. I guess F1 is F1 not WEC with four classes which is justifiable.

2

Another site is reporting that the F1 strategy group has rejected Marussia’s request to continue using their 2014 chassis. Do you have any info on this James? What could be the motivation for rejecting this request?

3

Bernie has said that their use of 2014 cars was vetoed. Checking exactly what this means for the team

4

Rumor has it that the F-1 Strategy Group has rejected Marussia’s request to use its 2014 chassis this season. Changes to the regulations related to front chassis height for 2015 mean that most of last season’s chassis are illegal, including the Marussia.

5

i think this has to do with 3 teams wanting a share of that prize money which is a shame and a problem with F1

6

Agree, its bad news. I had read Bernie saying they could run them. I hope they can bolt something on to lift it and upset the teams who voted them not to run the 2014 spec. There must be a work around, even if it makes them slower.

7

I am really confused about this…when does Marussia actually get their prize money?…if it was given to them just after the championship last year…they would be on the grid now…

From what it sounds like, they will get it if they show up to the first race? Someone throw me a bone.

Lets say for instance they do get to the first race…and they do get the money and the facilities and personnel etc etc…with a 2014 chasis…and suffering in qualifying…

…Is it possible for them to install (at some point shortly after) a 2015 Ferrari PU? That could save their bacon because they will never qualify with the old bits attached.

Some mountains are big to climb…but this one is absolutely monstrous…

8

James quick question im sure many of us have seen to model they had based on the 2015 car and read some report that they had an interesting solution to front suspension, if they did get them team off the ground and get good funding from mr king and his group of investors do you think they would get this car made by maybe mid season because otherwise you would imagine they wont be racing much in this coming season even if they had the best driver in the world in the car ( know being abit sarcastic there) with how the cars have moved on since last year and will mover further along this season.

9

“with how the cars have moved on since last year”

With the exception of McLaren who thus far haven’t moved too far at all… 😉

10

Best news of the year so far, on the assumption that the new owners are cashed up and in it for the long haul. Fingers crossed…

11

Might be a useful, if extravagant , way for Haas F1 to develop their 2016 racing package.

12

I presume they will be going back to dinnington near rotherham where it alls started. I have the 2014 marussia monoqcoque moulds if they want to get in touch

13

There have always been back markers in all forms of racing. If not Caterham or Marrusia, there will still be back of the pack teams, many seconds off pace. Some may say they are rolling disasters, and to a large extent that’s a valid point.

From a business point of view, many times for those with money to burn, all top tier racing looks like financial suicide. Still there are people out there willing to risk a huge amount of money to be on the grid. Sometimes it works for them. Most times their ego is bigger than their bank account. There are exceptions, McLaren comes to mind.

14

What is the point to try to revive Marussia when a mid-grid team like Force India appears to be on the brink ?!

15

One the one hand you have a team that was starting to make tangible progress (i.e winning their first World championship point) before their main sponsor got bored and/or broke and dropped them like a sack of spuds, and then on the other hand you have a team that should be doing quite well but instead is still in trouble for one reason or another.

You could make a case for or against either one, but frankly if I had a few billion handy I’d be a little more inclined to save the baggage and start my own team…

16

If they don’t have $31m to settle the debt and THEN start to spend money on building a team, this is just a joke.

End of story!

17

Bad news, this rubbish team should have been left to close for the good of the sport.

18

James, Why would the other teams vote to let them back in, there is only prize money for 10 teams and with Haas coming in next year it makes no sense for the teams to let them in.

It would be nice to see them back if they are competitive but at the end last year they were slower than the Caterham’s, .

19

More cars on the grid and employment for the team personel are good things, and personally I always enjoyed watching Marussia do as well as they did for such a small team. All that being said… I still have to wonder what the point really is this late in the game, to say it is futile would be an understatement.

20

James do you think there will be a German GP this year- do you have any further snippets of information you can update us/me with? Also what power units do you think Manor are likely to use?

21

Hard to say. There are lots of vested interests wanting to see a German GP, not least Mercedes, German TV and media, sponsors etc

They would use 2014 Ferrari PU’s I would imagine. Paying Ferrari for last year’s engines would be essential before any wheel turns in 2015

22

The landscape is starting to replicate that from the early to mid ’70’s… 4 to 6 ‘factory’ and/or genuine contenders and 10 to 15 sh-tb-xes!!!

I’ve got an old ‘Dirt-Kart’ that I can drag out and dust off!!!

Given what most likely are going to emerge as the ‘quality’ of entrants this year, and likely ‘rear of grid’ times for Melbourne, some ‘slicks’ (with the correct tyre pressures, of course) should see it being around the mark to progress to at least Q2!!!!!

Good thing I didn’t toss the roof-racks during my shed clean-up last week!!!

23

This is positive.

24

Safety first, just like Bernie says. Of course, he doesn’t care once you pony up the entry fee. Exactly where are they going to find team personnel, a factory, and parts with five weeks to Oz?

25

I’m not sure in the value in having an extra team at any cost. Running the 2014 car would likely put them dangerously off the pace and I don’t see any advantage to F1 from a sporting perspective.

26

I agree! Nice team, nice people, but they ought not to be given permission to run their 2014 – it would be the proverbial “mobile chicane” and would add nothing, except posing a danger. Unless they could be given permission to use Ferrari’s 2014 car – while it wasn’t a masterpiece, it was at least an F1 car! But this won’t happen?

27
Robert in San Diego

As an F1 fan, I welcome the effort. But as a business person I wonder at the value of such an endeavor.

28

Thank goodness! Somebody else who realises that grand prix racing is not a socialist “lets all share regardless of how well we do” experiment but literally a winner takes all free market capitalist enterprise!

29

Why?

30

Great News. about time some good news came about F1 teams surviving given current stories about teams struggling to make ends meet.

31

Whilst I would love to see Marussia survive in some way shape or form, I cannot see the logic in letting them race on track with a 2014 chassis that will by all accounts be several seconds slower and quite possibly be a hazard.

It will be interesting to see what Ferrari say about this with £18m owed. What PU they will run ?.. 2014 or possibly 2015 one?.

32

If they run a 2014 one they will already have a 50bhp disadvantage…

33

Try nearer to 80bhp according to article here a few days ago

34

Even if they initially run a 2014 engine, would they still be able to do so once Ferrari are running their full 2015 spec PU? I thought all teams running a manufacturer’s PU had to switch to the new unit at the same time? If that’s the case how big are the chassis changes required to support the 2015 PU? Questions, questions?!

35

they’ll have to run whatever Ferrari runs , then wait till the prize money from last year is in their bank account and then. . .

Also , who will be driving ?

36

Very good point.

Presumably that UK £18 million/20 Million Euros is still outstanding debt payable please to Scuderia Ferrari, Ferrari SpA, Cassella Postale 589, 41100 Modena, Italy Via Ascari 55-57, 41053 Maranello (MO) Northern Italy, cheques happily accepted in either £ UK pound sterling, Euros or $ US dollars, we will start charging interest and send the bailiffs round (!) if you don’t pay up!

37

Rather than send in the dogs they should buy them. Ferrari “B” team in Britain it would be a relatively cheap way to boost R&D, access some briliant engineers and people who are passionate racers ( as they did it on a shoe string). Fantastic opportunity to cross train its staff and exceptional growth of the brand in the UK. Also the perfect in house young driver development program for which F1 & Ferrari are lacking & all for the bargain basement price of a few engines. Sure they have Sauber but they are a well established stand alone team.

I think without a Haas partnership coming in 2016 and a major restructure & relocation already happening in Marenello, it would be a very strong proposition and not a bad solution for a 3 car team if that were to become a requirement.

38

Good news!

39

Haas bought their factory, where will they be based or can they share it?

40

I would guess that Haas will not be using all of the space at the factory this year. So maybe Marussia can lease the building in the interim until they sort out somewhere else. Alternatively, I would assume the Caterham factory will not be used this year.

41
Torchwood (mobile)

I think Marussia will use the Virgin Racing’ old facilities. Read that somewhere.

42

They’ll probably return to Dinnington -Manor Motorsport’s traditional home.

43

Wow!

How dare some “backmarker” have the audacity to enter and “trundle around at the back!”

Let the naysaying begin!

44

+100

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