It has been decided that Marussia F1 Team, now known as Manor, will not be permitted to use a variant of their 2014 chassis, the MR03, to race in the 2015 Season.
The team are due to emerge from administration on 19 February after going under in November last year. Thanks to a Company Voluntary Arrangement, the team will be operational again, although their place on the grid in 2015 has been put in serious doubt now.
At a meeting in Paris yesterday the sport’s rule-making strategy group took votes from the current nine teams in the sport. To use their 2014 car, Marussia would have require all teams to allow them to use the MR03, but one team, Force India, blocked this motion.
It has since been discovered that Force India were the first team to cast a vote, not the only ones. Bernie Ecclestone says that at least three or four teams were not in favour of the move, but since Force India were the first to vote negatively, no more votes were taken, as a unanimous decision was needed.
TWO WAYS OF LOOKING AT IT…
Firstly, you can be pissed off by Force India, if you want. It’s the natural instinct.
“Why the bloody hell did you do something so cruel, so petty?!”
Well, Force India are not doing so well either. Despite two season of finishing 6th in the championship, the team has always operated on the smaller budget that comes from being a non-works team, and a share of £40 Million would do a lot of good.
The team sported its new-look car in Mexico in January, but it was just the 2014 model with a new nose and livery, as the 2015 car is not yet ready.
That’s not even the half of it.
The team are so desperate for funds, that they have foregone pre-season testing in Jerez this year. This is thought to be due to the team wanting to sell its test driver seats to a young, rich driver, rather than give it to Hulkenberg and Perez. However, no one was interested, so they took a pass on the four-day event at Jerez de la Frontera.
So, I can have some compassion for the team. Sure, they’ve wiggled their fingers around in Marussia’s wounds in search of a pretty penny, but Formula 1 is a dog-eat-dog world (where the dogs are people and the other dogs are money) and everyone needs to do what they can to survive.
Bernie Ecclestone says that he hopes the team can survive. Well, thanks Bernie. That’s very helpful.