Formula 1

Marussia future in doubt again after 2014 car plan rejected

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The future of the Marussia F1 Team has been thrown into doubt once more after its plans to race in Formula 1 during 2015 with their 2014 car was rejected by F1’s Strategy Group in a meeting in Paris.

With the new season little over a month away, the team look likely now to miss out without enough time to build a 2015 specification machine.

Certain teams were reluctant to see the team, who were set to be run under the Manor Grand Prix name with new investors, return with last year’s car, with Sahara Force India being the most vocal. Should Marussia miss out, Dr Vijay Mallya’s team will be in line to share the money Marussia would have been entitled too for finishing ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Force India have spoken out at the reasoning why they rejected Marussia’s plans, citing that the supposed take-over of the team did not appear to have solid foundations.

“The strategy group was faced with an application for Marussia’s 2014 cars to compete in the 2015 championship,” said Sahara Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley. “During the meeting it emerged that there were compliance issues and that the application lacked substance.

“Equally, the speculative application submitted contained no supporting documentation to reinforce the case for offering special dispensation. For example, no details were supplied of who the new owners would be or the operational structures that would be put in place.

“Given the lack of information, uncertain guarantees, and the speculative nature of the application, the decision was taken that it is better to focus on ensuring the continued participation of the remaining independent teams.”

The dismissal of Marussia’s plans virtually ends the team’s chances of racing in next month’s Australian Grand Prix, but should they be able to build a 2015-specification car before the Bahrain Grand Prix in April, they should be allowed to race for the rest of the season without penalty.

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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