Defiant Marussia insist their return as Manor F1 in 2015 is still going ahead
Statement from Manor F1 Team released by Marussia; Team reveals 'significant number of staff' are working on 2014 and 2015 cars
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 07/02/15 10:03am
Marussia have reiterated their determination to return to F1 in 2015, despite the sport's Strategy Group resolving to block their proposed comeback.
Three months after the team went into administration with crippling debts, Marussia, who have been given an entry onto the 2015 grid under the name of Manor Grand Prix, have announced their intention to race again in the upcoming season.
While that ambition appeared to be scuppered when a meeting of F1's Strategy Group agreed to block the team's plan to use a 2014 car in the new campaign, a strongly-worded statement from Manor F1 Team, but issued through Marussia’s social media sites, insisted their comeback was still viable.
'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,' it read.
'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.'
The statement also revealed that the team were concurrently working on 2014 cars which would comply with the regulations and also building new 2015 cars.
'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,' it revealed.
Although Force India's Bob Fernley has revealed that the Strategy Group regarded Manor's application as "lacking substance", the team have denied making any such application and reiterated the need for confidentiality as negotiations continue with 'new investors'.
Former Marussia team boss Graeme Lowdon, listed on the Manor release as 'a representative of the team', said: "I was surprised to hear some of the comments made today, particularly regarding an application we were said to have made to yesterday’s meeting, which I can confirm was not the case.
"We did make a request on 17 December last year and we have been working since to satisfy the requirements subsequently communicated to us, specifically complying with all the Regulations, aside from the exempted articles.
"The comments also mentioned that issues of compliance were raised, that it was felt that our application lacked substance and contained no supporting documentation to reinforce the case for offering special dispensation. Again, we did not make any application to yesterday’s Strategy Group meeting and nor were we asked to.
"Instead, we are proceeding with our clear process regarding compliance and building our operation. We are doing everything possible to adhere to the process set out for us to return to the 2015 grid. This is a fantastic good news story for the whole sport and we just want to go racing."