Marussia’s administrators have confirmed that the collapsed F1 team will be taken out of administration on February 19th, setting up the possibility of returning to racing in 2015.
Morgan Rossiter said in a statement that it had agreed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with the team’s creditors in order to ensure they received fixed amounts on the debt they’re owed, explaining that “A CVA is a restructuring process… which allows for a turnaround of the business and the creation of a longer term viable solution for the team.” It added that it expects “investment into the business will be made upon the Company” before the first race of the season in Australia.
The team’s president Graeme Lowdon has been busy over the winter gaining that investment for the season despite not having raced since the Russian Grand Prix in October, with the added incentive of the team’s £30 million prize money for finishing ninth in the Constructor’s Championship in 2014. The Banbury-based team is on the 2015 entry list as Manor Grand Prix Limited, no longer named after the Russian sportscar brand which itself went bust in April 2014, and did manage to at least postpone an auction of their remaining assets.
The question now is whether they can run their 2014 car, and who would drive them. It’s obviously too late to prepare any planned 2015 car at this point, so they would require every other team’s permission to run a car outside of this year’s regulations. The F1 Commission, the sport’s strategy group, meets on Thursday and it’s likely that Marussia’s 2015 plans will be brought up. Sky Sports News HQ’s Craig Slater said he believes there will be no objection to the idea: “I understand that this deal has finally been agreed because Marussia have been allowed to keep their prize money from the 2014 season, which has effectively halved their debts.”
But as with anything still involving so much debt (originally estimated at £31 million), we'll have to wait and see whether the team makes it to Australia or not. Let’s not forget that the team's been here before: in November Marussia crew members were on their way to the airport, to fly to Abu Dhabi and race, when the key investor pulled out.