The Marussia Formula 1 Team’s attempt to make a return to racing for the 2015 F1 season has been left in shambles. This is after the sport’s strategy group refused its request to use its car for the 2014 season. This is according to reports that surfaced on Thursday evening.
The team went into administration following the Russian Grand Prix held last October. Monetary difficulties prevented the team from taking part in any of the last 3 races of the season.
Nevertheless, Marussia still managed to finish 9th in the race for the constructor’s title. Earlier this week, the administrators confirmed that a rescue package to help the team come out of administration was being assembled.
With most of its staff members pushed into redundancy and assets sold off, the team hadn’t managed to build a car for the 2015 season. This meant that even if they were to participate, they’d have to use their old car. It would however feature slight modifications to help it comply with the new rules.
Their fate lay with the F1 Strategy Group, which convened a meeting in Paris earlier today. According to press reports, the members shot down Marussia’s plea.
The meeting consisted of representatives from Red Bull, Mercedes, Williams, Ferrari, Force India and McLaren. This group has faced fierce criticism over the past one and a half years. Its sidelining of smaller teams nearly ended up in a boycott of the United States Grand Prix (held last November) by three teams.
With only 5 weeks remaining till the start of the 2015 season in Australia, it appears unlikely that Marussia will take part this season. This marks the second collapse of an F1 team in the last one day.
Earlier, Caterham’s administrators confirmed that the team’s remaining assets were sold off. This is after they were unable to find an investor to fund the team’s operations for this season’s races.
As mentioned earlier today, the 9 remaining teams are on paper allocating themselves a larger portion of the prize money on offer in F1 by declining to allow Marussia back on the grid for this season.
Speaking to the press, F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone confirmed reports that the talks had buckled with several teams opposing Marussia’s bid to return. He was quoted saying that they wanted to return with 2014’s car, which wasn’t accepted. This needed to be agreed upon by all the teams, and about 3 or four failed to do so. He also said that the money meant for the team will now be shared amongst this year’s participants, which to him was a good reason.
Despite preparations to come out of administration, the time and cost constraints involved in assembling a team to take part in the 2015 season without utilizing an existing car means that this appears to be the end for Marussia.
After half a decade of racing and a leap in development in 2014 with Jules Bianchi finishing ninth on the grid in Monaco, Marussia’s Formula 1 adventure has sadly come to an end.
With only 9 teams remaining in the sport and concerns about the futures of 3 of those, the cost crisis only looks to get worse before any resolution can be made.