The Marussia/Manor F1 Team have revealed they have not given up on returning to the grid in 2015 despite the knockback they received when their plans to run their 2014 car this season was vetoed by the F1 Strategy Group in a meeting in Paris.
A statement from the team revealed that they had been informed on January 05 that both they and fellow strugglers Caterham would be able to use their 2014 car this season, with the F1 Strategy Group asking it should comply with the 2015 technical regulations with the exception of four articles, those being Articles 3.7.9, 15.4.3, 15.4.4 and 16.2, all of which relate to the frontal bodywork and front impact test. Manor insist that their 2014 car will be modified to meet the required stipulations.
Graeme Lowdon, the Sporting Director of Marussia, revealed for the first time the hard work that had been going on behind the scenes to get to this stage, with the team scheduled to finally come out of administration within two weeks.
“It has been a very good step to finally get the CVA process underway this week,” insisted Lowdon. “This is the first external sign that we have been able to make of all the hard work that has taken place privately over the past four months to get us to our current position.”
Lowdon admitted his surprise to the comments made by Sahara Force India’s Bob Fernley after they confirmed their veto to Marussia running their 2014 car this year, and insisted the team had been working hard to comply with every requirement to get onto the grid this season.
“I was surprised to hear some of the comments made today, particularly regarding an application we were said to have made to yesterday’s meeting, which I can confirm was not the case,” said Lowdon. “We did make a request on 17 December last year and we have been working since to satisfy the requirements subsequently communicated to us, specifically complying with all the Regulations, aside from the exempted articles.
“The comments also mentioned that issues of compliance were raised, that it was felt that our application lacked substance and contained no supporting documentation to reinforce the case for offering special dispensation. Again, we did not make any application to yesterday’s Strategy Group meeting and nor were we asked to.”
Lowdon insisted the team are working extremely hard to make a return to Formula 1 in 2015, and have people in place to modify their 2014 car to the criteria it needs to be this season while also having people developing their 2015 car to be introduced as soon as possible.
“We are proceeding with our clear process regarding compliance and building our operation,” said Lowdon. “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.”