- Oct 27, 2014
The possibility of Marussia returning to the grid in 2015 appears to be finished, as yesterday’s meeting of the F1 Strategy Group voted down their wish to use their 2014 car this season.
Administrators had only announced on Wednesday that Marussia would be taken out of administration later this month with a view to racing this year, and the team was also on the official entry list as Manor. Given the Banbury team’s huge debts and the loss of many of its staff to other teams, preparing a 2015-spec car would be impossible, so hopes of racing rested on a unanimous vote by the FIA, Formula One Management (FOM) and the top six teams which make up the Strategy Group. Since this has been turned down, unless some sort of deal can be arranged before the F1 Commission meets to rubber-stamp the decision, there is basically no chance of Marussia competing this year.
There were widespread reports that former J Sainsbury chief executive Justin King was interested in taking over the team so long as it received the prize money for finishing ninth in the Constructor’s last year, estimated to be at least £30 million. It’s been speculated that the other teams blocked the move in order to redistribute the money amongst themselves and ease their own financial struggles. BBC Sport namedropped Force India as a “no” voter, a team whose own financial health is being questioned at the moment, but Bernie Ecclestone told The Independent that "It needed all the teams to agree and there were three or four of them that didn't agree.” Hinting at the pressures the rest of the grid faced, he said: "Maybe the other teams would have liked to use last year’s car. The trouble was that you can’t do these things for one team, you have got to do it for everybody."