Time nearly up for Marussia
Wednesday's auction would spell the end for the team, admits Lowdon
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 19/01/15 10:40am
Any remaining hope that Marussia could return to the F1 grid this season will be extinguished if Wednesday’s auction of the team's equipment goes ahead, former boss Graeme Lowdon has admitted.
The Banbury-based outfit missed the final three races of the 2014 campaign after entering administration with debts in excess of £60m.
Although the FIA included the team under the name of ‘Manor F1’ on its provisional entry list for the 2015 campaign, time is poised to run out for the team – or at least what remains of it following an earlier auction in mid-December – on Wednesday when critical infrastructure items will be put up for sale.
“There have been some auctions already but none of the equipment that has been sold so far is essential for the team to go forward,” Lowdon told Sky Sports News HQ. “But if that equipment went next week it would be difficult.”
Items to go under the hammer on Wednesday include the 2014 race cars (without engines), the GP3 race cars, all 2014 car components and spare parts and 2014 race day pit equipment. The sale starts at 1pm GMT.
It’s believed that the team’s Banbury base has already been purchased by Gene Haas, boss of the eponymous team slated to join F1 in 2016, while a number of former Marussia employees have found employment elsewhere on the grid since being made redundant in November.
However, Lowdon is adamant that, if substantial financial backing can be obtained in the next 48 hours, the team could yet return for the new season. “It’s certainly possible for the team to get there,” he added. “It would be good news for F1 and for our fans certainly.”
A number of Marussia’s assets were sold during an earlier sale in December among them steering wheels, manufacturing equipment, drivers’ race suits and team merchandise.
The first pre-season winter test commences on Sunday February 1 at Jerez.
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on February 1, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News HQ.