Friday, 6 February 2015

Manor GP may make F1 return after all

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

The Manor Grand Prix Team have outlined their plans to return to Formula One in 2015 despite the fact that the team formerly known as the Marussia F1 Team were denied permission to return to the sport using their 2014 cars.

The outfit along with the Caterham F1 Team entered administration year and despite the fact that the Caterham F1 Team look like they won’t return to Formula One after their administrator Smith and Williamson confirmed they will be auctioning off the remaining assets belonging to the team it is appears to be a different story at Manor.

The Sahara Force India Formula One Team confirmed that they were the team who had blocked Manor’s return to Formula One on the grounds that their plan had no substance. However the Silverstone based outfit told Manor that they would reconsider the proposal if Manor could provide a viable plan for the team to compete this year.

The Manor Grand Prix Team issued the following statement on Friday evening:

‘Following the initiation of the CVA process by Marussia F1 Team administrators FRP Advisory earlier this week, and the confidence this step brings to the process of saving Marussia, the team is now pleased to be able to confirm some of the detail of this process.
“On 17 December 2014, the team made a request to the Strategy Group to consider allowing it to use a 2014 race car, modified to meet certain 2015 regulations, for part of the 2015 season. Following analysis, the team highlighted that this would need some form of dispensation on only a small number of clauses in the Regulations.
“Subsequent to this application, the team was informed on 5 January 2015, that the Strategy Group felt that two teams – Marussia and Caterham – should be permitted to race a 2014 car in the 2015 championship. The letter stated that the Strategy Group agreed that the car should comply with all of the 2015 technical regulations, with the exception of four articles, those articles being Articles 3.7.9, 15.4.3, 15.4.4 and 16.2. The team can confirm that the modifications to its 2014 car would meet this stipulation.
“A change to the Regulations at this stage does require unanimous consent from all teams and following the initiation of the CVA process, the team is now actively engaged in achieving this. This process involves providing all relevant information to the teams to allow them to fully consider its request.
“As the press release from FRP Advisory of 4 February states, given the confidential nature of the negotiations underway, neither they nor the team are able to provide further details regarding the team’s new investors, however those investors have either met with or spoken to the key F1 bodies.
“The team has been busy preparing its 2014 cars such that they comply with the stipulations of the Strategy Group and at the same time it is pressing on with the development of its 2015 car to ensure it can supersede the 2014 car as soon as possible.
“The team has a significant number of staff already working on both its 2014 and 2015 cars. It also has the benefit of being able to recruit further staff very quickly from the rich pool of experienced and talented F1 personnel who were left unemployed following the closure of Marussia and Caterham and due to job cuts made by other teams in the sport.”
If Manor are indeed successful in their bid to return to Formula One this season it would mean that they would be entitled the £34 million in prize money that they earned after finishing the 2014 season in ninth place in the Constructors championship.

The team have launched a new website watch this space…All may not be lost after all.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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