Manor still working on 2015 F1 entry despite setback

2015 F1 season

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Manor F1 Team, the new identity of the former Marussia team, is continuing its efforts to compete in Formula One this year despite being refused permission to use a 2014 chassis.

The F1 Strategy Group decided against granting a dispensation to the team despite having previously indicated to Manor it would be forthcoming, the team claims.

“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,” said Manor in a statement.

“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.”

Former Marussia CEO Graeme Lowdon, who now represents Manor, reacted to the Strategy Group’s refusal to let them use their old chassis. “I was surprised to hear some of the comments made today,” said Lowdon, “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.”

Manor says a “significant number of staff” has begun work on converting its 2014 chassis to comply with the alterations originally requested by the Strategy Group, and it is working on a new 2015 car.

“We are doing everything possible to adhere to the process set out for us to return to the 2015 grid,” said Lowdon. “This is a fantastic good news story for the whole sport and we just want to go racing.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Manor still working on 2015 F1 entry despite setback”

  1. Reading between the lines it seems like the Strategy Group have revoked whatever was agreed in December, without necessarily consulting Manor about it first.

    A pretty underhanded way to behave, if you ask me.

    1. The whole way this sport is governed is completely messed up.

      Though I am not at all surprised by it. The top teams are hundreds of millions (billions) worth organizations, as is the commercial rights holders.

      The big pockets always try to skew the whole system so they can run the show. The people who set up the series (FIA) must have not foreseen the financial success F1 will achieve over the 70s and onward, or maybe everybody left there are simply spineless and corrupt.

      Having said that, I’m in no way making excuses for the behavior of FOM and the teams, they are the ones who, most often than not, are the prime reason for the messed-up-edenss of the sport. There is an ethical and fair way to run a successful business in a highly competitive environment. What we see in F1 is is not that, not even slightly.

    2. YEah, I think that sums it up nicely. I wonder who prepares the agenda and topics for the group

      1. That was in my mind too as I read this @bascb, @red-andy, and with Bernie having said at the start that this request to the Strategy Group wasn’t possible, or something alike, I guess I have at least one person in mind who has an agenda.

  2. “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,” said Manor in a statement.

    Why the sudden U-turn then? Looks more like a coup. All the best to them.

  3. Let them race!!

    1. Yeah, let them be at the back with nobody to fight with, only getting air time when they get lapped for the third time.

      1. Yeah that’s what would happen.
        But if they race they get 2014 prize money for 9th.
        AND 2015 prize money for 10th
        AND a good chance of beating Haas in 2016 because they can develop the 2016 car straight away.

        1. 2014 money they have to use to pay their debts, it’s not like that money will help them forward in a way to make the team financially more stable… Last time I read something about their financial status they still owed money to Ferrari for engines, not that likely they going to give them more engines for 2015 are they?

      2. Not to mention they might not make 107% rule. So ultimately they wouldn’t race anyway! Besides I’m interested to see who will suffer the indignity of coming last! It’s a shame they got to this point tho, but that’s another sad story.

  4. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
    6th February 2015, 18:52

    Participating this year would be pointless so if I was them I’d take a year out to develop a 2016 car and then return in 2016 and actually have a chance of at least matching their performances in 2014.

    1. @hamiltonfan1705
      They can’t do that. They don’t have a penny left, and their only chance of getting a slice of the prize money is to enter this year. If this resurrection plan isn’t already destined to fail, it most certainly will be if they don’t get that money.

      1. @mads Well, they also need money to go racing, don´t they? The price money isn´t going to go far.

        They have to pay salaries, construction material, etc. So if they don´t have a penny why they want to race?

        1. @celeste
          Of cause I pulled the “not a penny left” mostly out of thin air, but if I remember correctly they were 30m pounds in debt when they pulled the plug last year.

      2. Source 1, cost of racing in F1 a year

        The bill for designing and building 200mph cars, maintaining them and paying their drivers and staff, along with transporting the whole circus to 19 races across the world is reported to run to $120m (£75m) a year – and that’s just the price of keeping a mid-tier team racing.

        Another detail of the cost

    2. @hamiltonfan1705 The problem with that is that if Manor don’t race this year they don’t get there prize money for finishing 9th in the constructors championship last season & it was apparently the guarantee that they would get that prize money if they raced this year which ensured they were able to come out of administration.

      If they don’t race & don’t get the exposure the 2014 prize money & whatever money they would get through 2015 then there dead.

      When was the last time a team sat out a year & was able to come back?

  5. One of the many problems of the Strategy Group is exemplified here if the statements by Manor are true – the Strategy Group wields enormous power, especially over teams in Manor’s position. They shouldn’t be allowed to change their decisions on a whim, but they can. They should work in the best interests of the sport, but they don’t.

    Is it no wonder that F1 is in the state it’s in when there’s a group of rich teams and financial investors actively working against the betterment of F1, and have been put in a position of power such that they can block teams entering, prevent cost cutting measures, stop the fair distribution of revenue and prize money to smaller teams and push for yet more expensive regulation changes that only the elite few mega-rich teams can afford?

  6. I don’t understand why teams who spend a lot of money and hard work on 2014 / 2015 seasons should subject themselves to unnecessary risk by allowing those who perform poorly compete for the same prize. It’s just unfair to other struggling teams who still manage to design cars and be competitive.

    1. If their car meets the 2015 regulations they are not a risk more than any other team. They would have to pass crash tests and their drivers who ever they might be, would have to be professionals same as the drivers driving for other teams. They have also paid their entry fee and they have earned their cut last year. I feel sorry for them if after all this they wont be able participate. They have had it tough especially after what happened in Japan.

  7. Oh please let them race!!!

  8. I wonder if they can take their 2014 car, put on a vanity panel like FI did with their car and hopefully that could make it legal… That way they don’t have to re-test their monocoque or nose. Not sure what else they could do for other 2015 restrictions that vary for 2014…

    1. @beejis60 It’s not *just* the nose, the rules mandate the bulkhead that the nose connects to has to be 5cm lower and the sides reinforced against intrusion. A 2014 chassis cannot be easily modified to suit these criteria without a substantial redesign – might as well just get on and put the resources being building that 2015 car.

  9. Interestingly both Marussia’s Facebook and Twitter feed came back to life a few hours ago. So we know they have at least one person working on team operations!

  10. Your team poor, no place for you here, how much money you have? haha not enough, lol

    1. Neither do you Vijay! LOL

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      7th February 2015, 2:41


      @keithcollantine, you might want to consider allowing only registered users to start a comment thread. I doubt the above comment adds anything to your site.

  11. I hope they do somehow find a way back but only if the drivers are picked on talent and not the size of their wallet, can’t see that happening though . As a Aussie it was a great day when Webber started driving for Minardi i knew he had no hope of winning but he was on the grid so I had a fellow countrymen I could cheer for and follow in the hope that better teams will come calling . I always been a fan of the sport but now that a Australian was competing my friends started to take notice of F1 and they still watch to this day. I wonder how many Dutch kids who never really took notice of F1 before will start to follow because of Verstappen .Now if Manor/Marussia make it back will they come last, almost certainly but if they put two drivers that have real potential and not just finance with a helmet then at least they are doing the f1 community a favour and bringing on the new Alonso’s and Ricciardo’s and who can complain about that.

  12. I dont feel sorry for Marussia. At all. Dirty politics. Rossi was about to buy his way into F1, a place generously left by Max Chilton, then…. money appears from Chilton side and regains his seat. Do we forget about that stuff? Yes…they clinched 2 points in a really messy Monaco (At least 6 drivers should have got those points instead of BIA). Suddenly Marussia is the New Mercedes designed by Newey? NO WAY.
    Before having a Ferrari PU they blamed the PU, and even with a Ferrari PU they were slow. Really slow. Yes, they managed to beat a superwealthy Caterham. But thats it.
    Then…we see BIA almost die (will he ever regain consciousness again?) and thats it….marussia disappear. Should I be sorry? NO WAY.

  13. This is why i’ve always felt that teams should not have a vote which gives the final say when it comes to the running of F1 as when they do for the most part they don’t vote in favor of anything that doesn’t benefit them.

    The bigger teams talk about helping the smaller teams, Most of them talk about not wanting 3rd cars & about how F1 needs to be sustainable etc… Yet when it actually comes down to it what have any of those teams done to help the smaller teams or even F1 in general? Nothing, Because making the changes which need to be made does nothing for them so while publicly they say all the right things, Privately they don’t give a damn until its them about to go under.

    The biggest disappointment to me however is the FIA under Jean Todt because it pretty much has no power anymore because of Jean’s un-willingness to get involved in any meaningful way. Whatever you thought of Max Mosley at the very least he was willing to fight to get things done & wasn’t afraid to say things which he knew some teams would be upset about.

    Right now F1 needs a strong leader at the FIA who knows what needs to be done & isn’t afraid to do say or do it. Jean Todt just sitting back & letting things play out is going to end badly, He either needs to put his foot down or step down.

    1. Agree, because of the split between the commercial rights and the sporting rights, the FIA needs to be right in the thick of things to ensure healthy competition and fair play. Otherwise, the self-reflected commercial considerations of the teams will blur the lines of sport and destroy them all.

    2. Jonathan Sarginson
      7th February 2015, 1:35

      …here, here!… Bring back Marie Balestre..he wouldn’t have put up with all this school playground nonsense!

  14. The ultimate irony would be Manor makes the 2015 mods and the grid and then Force India finally collapses.

    1. Maybe they should merge.. Sahara Force India Manor. Sounds like a legacy team to me:)

  15. Gangsters! This is appalling behaviour from the so called strategy group. The Monopolies Commission need to have a look at this.

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