Will Stevens, Caterham, Silverstone test, 2014

Manor intend to race in Melbourne with Stevens

2015 F1 season

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Will Stevens, Caterham, Silverstone test, 2014Manor, formerly the Marussia F1 team, says it intends to race in the first round of the world championship at Melbourne with Will Stevens as one of its drivers.

The team says it has made “huge strides” towards participating in the season, the first practice session for which is 16 days away. However earlier this month the Strategy Group ruled it could not enter this year’s championship with its 2014 chassis.

Manor has not indicated whether intends to use an all-new design or a revised version of its 2014 chassis for the new season, but says the car it will use is “in an advanced stage of build at the team’s current race preparation facility in Dinnington”.

“Personnel are working twenty-four-seven towards the air freight despatch date of 6th March,” it added.

Manor also stated it “is now in a position to be able to provide regular updates on its preparations for Melbourne and wider plans for the season, including the completion of its driver line-up”.

Stevens made his grand prix debut for Caterham in the final race of 2014 and also served as Marussia’ reserve driver.

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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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71 comments on “Manor intend to race in Melbourne with Stevens”

  1. Hmm, yeah, exciting for Will Stevens and Manorussia.

    Anyone else?

    1. I imagine it’s also exciting for the marshalls responsible for blue flags..

      1. Hahahaha – unfortunately probably very true! Best of British to them though!

  2. Ah, come on! I was so happy for them, and they do this! Probably my dislike for Stevens is unjustified, but I guess there are faster drivers, even amongst those who bring money…

    1. In times where there are worries about certain drivers on the grid, I maintain that a lack of talent is far more dangerous than a lack of experience.

      1. I beg to disagree, Chilton was a turtle, but he was one of the safest drivers in the last two years.

        1. @austus Chilton didn’t have many cars around him but I can still recall three fairly noticeable accidents he caused: his crash with Maldonado caused a red flag in the 2013 Monaco GP, the following year he punctured Räikkönen’s tyre while unlapping himself under SC at the same race, and his third mistake in Canada last year ended both Marussia’s race a few weeks later.

          @fixy From what I saw of Stevens in FR3.5 in the last two years when I could closely follow them was that his one lap pace wasn’t too great but his performances in the races were much better. He certainly doesn’t set the world alight but he’s a safe pair of hands and in my opinion on Sundays he will often be able to beat whoever his teammate will be. As for being deservedly on the F1 grid: I think he’s in the right place in a backmarker team and during a year when more teams can start (like 2010-2012) he wouldn’t stand out as a driver too slow to be there.

      2. Instead of having 18 cars, I’d rather have Stevens and some other sack of money, I won’t be picky on this one, just glad they might be on the grid in Australia. Maybe they take a Ferrari/McLaren young driver in exchange for a cut on their debt?

        1. @gicu – Why though? What is better about having 2 pay drivers pulling to the side of the track to let the rest of the cars past every couple of laps.

          I’m all for having more cars on the grid and back when Virgin/Marussia/Manor were trying to progress and move on, I felt they deserved their place. This year is just about collecting prize money. If they do turn up in Australia, I wouldn’t expect them to improve on their 2014 team whilst the rest will have gained several seconds!

          1. I agree, they’ll probably be horridly slow and a shoe-in for the last two spots at every GP. So was HRT, and they gave us Ricciardo. Minardi was a perrenial backmarker and they gave us Alonso and Webber. I’d love to see a new face in F1 (I’m thinking Stoffel or Marciello) who can do something similar. Great drivers can show their talents and skill while running at the back of the field.

        2. I am so sorry for the team, the mechanics and the staff but I rather have 18 competitive cars in Melbourne. The Manor chassis will be the 2014 one by marussia with the ’14 ferrari engine. According to pirelli and having seen the Barcelona test times (last week) the full grid made 2-3 seconds during the winter. Thus the Manor will be out of the 107% in every race. If, hypothetically, Lewis Hamilton or Fernado Alonso took Will Stevens seat they would also be out of 107% in every race (maybe they would make the grid in Monaco, a surely Marussia circuit were both excel!). So sad to see them try to come back….in this F1!

          1. @babis1980 They can’t use the ’14 engine as only one Ferrari engine can be homologated at any time so they’ll surely have to have the latest version.

        3. Yep, could be someone on Ferrari’s books, as they probably can’t afford the engines anyway. Wonder how desperate Vergne is to stay in F1? I’d like to see him get it. Not sure Gutierrez deserves another chance, or if Marciello’s ready for F1 yet.

        4. A cut on the debt nothing… Trade it for a 2015 spec engine!

    2. Yeah, I think its a bit unfair indeed @fixy.

      I expected nothing at all of him and thought he shouldn’t have been allowed the drive with Caterham last year. But I must say that he did quite a job not getting in anyones way and a solid effort the whole weekend made me actually think that there’s something in him.

    3. They have spent the past four months trying to get out of administration and it’s still going to be a miracle if they make it to Melbourne. How did anyone expect them to do anything else other than sign a pay driver?

      As always, don’t blame Manor, blame F1. If revenues were distributed fairly, then we wouldn’t see so many teams needing to sign pay drivers. It’s absurd to expect any team to choose a popular driver over survival.

    4. With any luck the marussia is so slow that they won’t even make the 107% rule. Car is slow, drivers are slow and have to carry big bags of money with them in the car and the others are faster.

      And that 107% rule itself is a joke too. It is not 107% of the top time in quali. It is the Q1 which is always more than second slower than the real pace. The 107% rule is supposed to exist for safety reasons and there were probably many times last seasons when the backmarkers were dangerously slow (in reality slower than 107%). The current way only makes sense in rain or drying conditions but there are already ways to bypass the 107% rule in such cases.

      I just don’t understand at all the desire of so many people here wanting see these absolutely useless and hopeless backmarker teams. The only reason they are racing is the prize money. They will race with two pay drivers (and neither of them will be even close to bianchi caliber unless ferrari buys the other seat like they did with bianchi) and their car will be slower in comparison to the 2015 than it was in 2014. Not to mention the marussia 2015 car will be probably slower too (compared to 2014) if they have to fulfill the new nose regulations which will cause them to lose downforce.

      Not to mention if fia will let them race with the old nose it is a safety issue. What next? Cars allowed to race without proper fuel tanks, rollbars or cockpit protection because the team is too poor to be in f1?

      But like I said I don’t understand the desire to see these useless backmarkers in f1. I don’t think it is a valid reason to have them so the front running teams will occasionally trip over the slow cars so we can have a bit of schadenfrende fun at the expense of the clown falling over in predictably unfunny way and taking someone out in the process..

      1. The reason it’s based on Q1 is because that is the only session when all cars are on track. In dry conditions, the track gets faster as more grip is put down on the circuit, so Q3 will be a lot quicker, however it is unfair to have the 107% based on those times, when the majority of the cars would not have set times.

        Marussia/Manor have been closer to the front in the last few years then a lot of midfield runners were in the late 80s and early 90s. In fact in some races where they set times less then 3 seconds off the pole time, it could have put them in the top 10 in terms of how far behind the pole time was in years like 1991, 1992 and 1993 because of how far ahead the frontrunners were. Therefore should Jordan, Dallara, Minardi, Ligier, March and other midfield teams not bothered to have competed in those years because they were more than 2 – 3 seconds off pole. The rule was originally brought in because teams like Forti and Pacific were regularly qualifying 7 – 8 seconds off pole and due to lack of entrants were automatically qualifying for races due to a 26 car grid. Had more teams been entered that year then Forti and Pacific probably would have had a few DNQs. In fact in normal dry sessions all the 2010 entrants were at least within 107% time. HRT might not have been in the first race, but normally were. It would not surprise me if Jordan and Minardi in 2004 and 2005 were further from the pole then Caterham, Marussia or HRT were.

        We need backmarkers in F1 simply because it makes the sport more competitive, gives more drivers a chance to step up and enter from other series. It also means teams that are in GP2, sportscars will be encouraged to join the sport as they can have a chance to be competitive. Sauber, Jordan (now Force India), Stewart (now Red Bull), Toleman (Lotus) certainly might never have entered if it meant it was impossible to succeed and decided to stick to the series in which they would be stronger in. Finally if it were not for the failures of Ron Dennis Project 4 and Frank Williams Racing Cars, it is likely McLaren and Williams in their current guise might have never developed into the dominate teams we saw in the 1980s and 1990s. F1 needs a healthy grid of 20+ cars, I would love to have more then 30 entrants but that probably will not ever happen now due to costs, however I would settle for 22 – 26 entrants. Finally it is nice to root for the underdog who have a passion to go for racing.

        1. |The reason it’s based on Q1 is because that is
          |the only session when all cars are on track.
          |In dry conditions, the track gets faster as
          |more grip is put down on the circuit, so Q3
          |will be a lot quicker, however it is unfair
          |to have the 107% based on those times,
          |when the majority of the cars would not have
          |set times.

          It doesn’t get that much faster. Only on tracks which are not much used and don’t have other series running on the weekend is the dust really an issue.

          |Marussia/Manor have been closer to the front
          |in the last few years then a lot of midfield
          |runners were in the late 80s and early 90s.

          It is 2015 now. Not the 80s and 90s. I’ve explained many reasons why marussia will be even more weaker than this. Instead of talking about the 80s and 90s F1 you could have addressed my points..

          |We need backmarkers in F1 simply because it
          |makes the sport more competitive,

          How does it do that? What kind of competition does a single backmarker team that is totally in its own league when it comes to being slow with two paid drivers with no prior motorsport success and a team with barely enough funds to pay to get their year old chassis sent to the first race? A gp2 team could do better job.

          How does it make the sport more competitive? All it does it makes the financial situation harder for the mid field teams when the contractors start needing money up front because of the caterhams and marussia not being able to pay their bills.

          |gives more drivers a chance to step up and enter from other series.

          Only if they are part of driver program that is willing to buy them a seat. Not many aren’t. Not to mention the backmarker teams are pure driver career destroying teams. Nobody would have signed ricciardo from hrt on merit. He had to drive a real f1 car, the toro rosso to show to rbr what he was able to do.

          Things are also very different in 2015 than they are were in the 90s. Back then a backmarker team was a real possibility for upcoming drivers because top teams were looking for talent in f1. Nowadays the big teams have driver programs and they mostly look at drivers in lower series to put into their own programmes or alternatively look for known quantity older drivers who are already in good teams in f1. Not new drivers from the back end of the grid.

          As for the good drivers who have some success in lower formulae and can bring some money on the table will never go into those backmarker teams because they know it is a career suicide to drive for caterham or marussia. If bianchi was well he would probably be still driving for marussia with ferrari backing.

          |F1 needs a healthy grid of 20+ cars,

          Why? In modern f1 with reliable teams it is practically impossible to gain points with low budgets and therefore get enough money back from fom to build a succesful team. Even a succesful midfield team.

          I think 18 cars is fine. They have all chance to win in the right conditions, they all have solid history of being front running or mid field teams with long term plan to be in f1. Next year we will have 10 teams. F1 rules don’t even support 10+ teams because there is no money coming from fom to the 11th team. 20 is a good number of cars because it is the maximum number of teams that get paid by fom to race.

          |I would love to have more then 30 entrants
          |but that probably will not ever happen now
          |due to costs, however I would settle for
          |22 – 26 entrants. Finally it is nice to root
          |for the underdog who have a passion to go for racing.

          Where is the passion of tony fernandez now? Where is the passion of the marussia team? Those teams are nothing more than rich men’s toys that are discarded once the rich person becomes tired of pouring money into failing f1 team. For f1 to support even 11 teams it would need a rewrite of the concorde agreement which is not happening either.

          I always find it annoying when people mention the teams like williams and sauber in the same sentence as marussia or caterham. Frank Williams and Peter Sauber are the ones who have the passion. How many years of their life, how much of their money did those people invest into their teams compared to the richmen behind marussia and caterham? I find it insulting to mention marussia and caterham in the same sentence as the williams or the sauber. Neither of those teams started from the same starting point as caterham or marussia.

          1. The thing is Marussia and HRT did start from smaller teams that had a passion for racing but no money, Manor and Campos Racing respectively. John Booth and Adrian Campos respectively so deserve to be mentioned alongside Frank Williams and Peter Sauber because all had to sell part or the controlling stake of their team to an investor in order to continue. See FWRC ties ups with Lola and Wolf in the 70s, and then the Saudi investors for the current Williams team Sauber early partnerships with Mercedes in the Group C era and later selling to BMW, Stewart Racing being heavily backed by Ford. Granted Fernandes got bored, but no different to the boards of Honda, BMW and Toyota deciding to end the team. I compared the two because they had to start small and by combining passion and getting the right investors have been able to grow and stay in F1. Look at Toro Rosso and Force India, both in 2005 looked like leaving F1, by getting a second (or fourth in Force India’s case) managed to grow.

            How hard would it have been for Red Bull and Force India if rather then buying an existing team (or in Red Bull’s case 2 teams) they would have had to start from scratch. If you discount ownership changes since 1996 when the grid started to shrink we have had only Stewart, Lola, Toyota, Super Aguri and the 2010 entrants as new actual teams. Even the 2010 teams had to go through a few ownership changes because of how difficult it is.

            The reason I want more independant constructors and small teams in F1 is because if a manufacturer gets bored and pulls support we lose teams. I would like new teams to be able to replace those that leave. Had Red Bull not stepped up in 2004, the Jaguar and Minardi teams would not be around. Had Vijay Mallya not brought Jordan/Midland/Spyker, that would be another team gone. Add in Honda, BMW and Toyota’s withdrawal, we would have just had Ferrari, McLaren, Williams in a 3 team championship. A series is healthy if it has plenty of entrants and it helps give legitmacy to who wins that series. For example British F3 (a series dating back to 1951 and where many F1 top drivers learnt their trade) became too costly could not get entries and has had to fold. Is the last British F3 champion worthy of consideration amongst his Champion winning peers because of the lack of entrants meant little to no competition. I do not want F1 to fold due to lack of entries and because of high costs. I wish the new teams could be more competitive, it makes the sport better, however until costs are dealt with it will not happen. How long realistically can Lotus, Sauber and Force India survive in the current state of F1? I hope Haas can do well, as I was overjoyed when Marussia scored points. I hope Manor can get the extra investment to keep on going, if they had no passion for racing then they would not have bothered to go through all of this hassle just to race. More entrants = more seats = more driver opportunity, if F1 becomes a closed shop, then drivers who are worthy of a seat will find their chances limited. Senna (Toleman), Schumacher (Jordan), Keke Rosberg(Theodore), Hill (Brabham), Hakkinen (Team Lotus) all started F1 in teams at the back of the grid and in the case of Brabham and Team Lotus in badly need of funds. I have rambled on a bit, but to me F1 needs the small teams. It is why many of us want to see them succeed because when they do it makes it mean so much more as a fan.

          2. I forgot to add, I mentioned the Late 80s and 90s because that was when I started watching F1 and one of the reasons it attracted to me was that a large amount of teams were in it. It also meant feeder series champions could make thejump to F1 easier. It would be a shame if the GP2 champion and Formula Renault 3.5 champion could not try F1 due to a lack of available seats.

  3. great news that they intend to race, shame about the driver they’ve chosen to do it with.

  4. Will Stevens – the only driver Manor could think of with an emptier trophy case than Chilton. Stevens hasn’t ever finished in the top three of any championship he’s competed in…doesn’t translate well into having the pace and racecraft required for F1!

    He did a decent enough job in Abu Dhabi for Caterham, kept his head down and brought the car home (apart form getting on Alonso’s nerves), but i think that race may well have set the tone for his F1 career; completely unspectacular

    1. @celicadion23 Sometimes it’s worth to look beyond stats. As someone who’s an avid FR 3.5 follower, I had the opportunity to follow Stevens closely for the past 3 years. His racecraft is excellent and his race pace and consistency is comparable to anyone who he’d raced against. The relative lack of results is purely because of his poor one lap pace leaves him usually with to much to do in the races. That’s not something that should bother Manor GP. Qualifying 20th instead of 19th is meaningless. But if there’s a crazy wet race and an opportunity to score a point because of attrition, you can bet Will be there and have the level head to pull it off

      1. Redo a Bianchi-at-Monaco. I think Will is capable of that.

  5. Based on what I’ve heard being reported, it sounds like they’ll be racing with an interim car modified to suit the new regulations – running the 2014 Ferrari engine – while they finish their actual 2015 car.

    One thing that I’ve been wondering about… if they are running the old power unit in an old car, are they even going to be able to qualify within the 107% rule? Even if they fail to qualify, will simply attempting to participate in the races qualify them for their prize money?

    1. This article on Autosport briefly mentions the whole “interim car” thing. No idea if the rumour has any reliable sources or not though.

    2. Mercedes, most likely to be the polesitters and therefore setting the base time for the 107% rule, have improved a lot: roughly 2secs per lap if Barcelona is anything to go by. I highly doubt the new/not new Manorussia wil have improved by that much, and they weren’t exactly a million miles away from the 107% time last year.

      I think we could be seeing a few DNQ’s…..

      1. not that negative please. (@celicadion23)
        last year they were mostly within 3%.
        race MEL KUA BAH SHA BAR MON CAN AUS
        % 102.8% 104.7% 102.0% 103.3% 102.7% 102.1% 102.5% 101.6%
        SIL GER HUN BEL ITA SIN JAP RUS
        100.8% 102.6% 101.8% 103.1% 102.8% 102.4% 103.5% 105.0%

        And even on the slowest weekends they had another 2% to the fastest car.

        But of course they need a driver with the skills of Biancchi to not drop further behind.

    3. Remember that the 107% rule is set by the best time in Q1 where Merc will normally be running Prime tyres and not full Quali spec.

    4. very interesting question this is @polo. I think they apply for the prize money, because the regulations say that you have to take part on the next season, this is something they will manage even though the cars do not qualify due to the 107% rule.

      I personally do not care about them just to have more cars on track, but I do value their efforts in trying to competing, building a 2015 spec while using a modified 2014 one. Hopefully they will improve compared to last season, we have to wait and see

    5. Also worth bearing in mind the 107% is at the discretion of the other teams. I suspect they will be lent on by the FIA to allow Manor to exceed the regs.

      1. I thought it was from the discretion of the FIA, who look at what your practice times were and then decide.

    6. As far as I understand what did come out (as the agreements themselves are secret) they are obliged to make all reasonable effort to take part in every GP weekend – i.e. present 2 race ready cars for scrutineering and attempt to qualify.

      Even if the stewards would disallow them to race (for example because they have not been able to crash test a new nose to 2015 specs or something like that) its likely they would still be satisfying the clause about taking part.

  6. While I am happy if they participate, I am a bit worried if in the rush they might introduce a car not fully developed for the race which might present some kind of danger for its driver and the rest of the field.
    Best of luck to them anyway

    1. cars have to pass safety tests, there is no way FIA would let them race in a potentially dangerous car

  7. So where does Stevens get his backing from ?

    1. He gets it from greg-d

      1. Greg-c certainly hasn’t got any funds to go racing :)

  8. I think it would be great if they can do it. I’m wondering if they can collect the 2014 prize money by ‘participating in the event’ even if they don’t make the 107% threshold.

    But they needed a 2015 engine, surely? How is it good for Ferrari to have their branded engine being even more off the pace than necessary?

    1. Perhaps they can’t make the changes to the car in time to fit a 2015 ferrari engine?

    2. It would require redoing some wiring as well as the exhausts, bodywork … to get the new spec engine in. Work Manor won’t have a chance to manage in time for the start of the season and maybe not even for mid season.

    3. @lockup

      How is it good for Ferrari to have their branded engine being even more off the pace than necessary?

      Ferrari customer engines aren’t branded – neither Sauber nor Marussia carried Ferrari logos last year, whereas in comparison the Renault-powered teams carried Renault logos and so did some of Mercedes’ customers.

      1. Okay @keithcollantine but still everyone will know it’s a Ferrari engine. Every third time they’re lapped it’ll be mentioned that there’s a really hopeless 2014 Ferrari engine in it, and likewise when it blows up before it manages its 5th race.

        I dunno, maybe it’s an engine mount issue. Seems a pity anyway.

  9. I’m actually not so keen on them joining now for the 2015 season. It appears to me, at least, that this isn’t motivated by a desire to compete (and let’s face it, they won’t be competitive) but more by a desire to pick up their prize money from last year.

    With no pre-season and an interim car, there is going to be an even larger gap between them and the rest and I can’t see them getting within the 107% rule with any sort of regularity. If they do qualify, they’ll see more blue flags than they do green!

    I’m all for a larger grid but it needs to be filled with competitive teams and strong deserving drivers. If we want a bigger grid and are happy to have a “sub-class” of slower cars, why not just add GP2 onto the back of the grid!?

    1. I think the desire to race is the first thing. The money only means that its a tad more viable of an effort (less extra money needed from their backers) than without it @petebaldwin.

      They will still have to poor in a considerable amount of money to be able to run even an updated 2014 car for the whole year and if they really are building a 2015 car that means another couple of tens of a million from the owners. Half or even most of this years prize money will go to the creditors anyway, the rest might be enough to pay for the engines and ECU.

  10. I still think that Jordan King will be promoted by his dad.

    1. Don’t think so. They will need to get another pay driver in the other race seat and will hope to get some coffer filling 3rd/test/occasional FP1 drivers too to make it through the season @billyos

    2. @billyos I doubt his dear dad would have paid Racing Engineering the £1.2 million for a season in GP2 had he set his eyes on his son in an F1 car in 2015. It does rather beg the question though where former Red Bull driver Alex Lynn got the money for his DAMS drive without the Austrian backing, since it is the most expensive single seater seat outside F1. A parting gift from Marko? Or a rich Essex friend?

      1. he signs with Williams after got a seat at DAMS, so it was RB money

      2. @countrygent BasCB has intimated on a few occasions that Lynn isn’t exactly in the Scott Malvern school of ‘broke and title winning, when given a chance’. It’d be ironic if Lynn denies King the points for a 2016 super licence, given that both were driving in the last season of FR2.0 UK, when Lynn, Ellinas and Rowland dominated, leaving King to finish 8th, although admittedly it was a learning year and he has improved markedly since then.

  11. Very disappointed by this. Having an uncompetitive and ill prepared team be in another league on the F1 grid is not only far from what F1 is about as the pinnacle of motor sport and excellence, but outright bad for its reputation.

    Nothing against the team and personnel or being elitist, but this is much worse than pay-drivers when it comes to what is bad for the sport’s quality and integrity.

    1. There’s a litany of ill-prepared teams throughout F1’s history, and Manor is by far not the worst.

      1. Life, Andrea Moda and Mastercard Lola probably take the prize for that. With Coloni, EuroBrun and Osella not far behind

  12. I take it then that anyone who doesn’t want to see Manor on the grid, would prefer a grid of 26 Mercedes cars? Call it GP1! Hamilton would still probably win… only if Alonso recovers could someone give him a battle!

    1. I’d love to see them on the grid. I don’t see them qualifying to sit on it though.

  13. OK, Stevens is not the most talented driver to grace the cockpit of an F1 car, but if he helps Manor make it to the grid, and therein rejuvenates the prospects of families cast into uncertainty by redundancy, then fine. That’s not me denying that I would have been more excited if Marciello’s name headed this article, but with Ferrari ties and Chilton eyeing IndyCar, it may yet happen.

    1. Good choice for Lello, but he already signed with Sauber, as well as Palmer with Lotus. Also GP2 deal for Vandoorne. How about Merhi (if he has money)?

      1. @billyos – Several years ago McLaren would have popped Vandoorne in there without thinking, but GP2 is so expensive now it would equate to throwing over a million pound and a probable GP2 title for Stoffel, for the joy of circulating round at the back of an F1 grid. Also, by deploying the Belgian as the driver for Honda’s Abu Dhabi shakedown, McLaren have told the world that he is an integral part of the future programme: there can be no doubt as to the inevitability of his replacement of Button.

        Marciello is a possible if you cite his and Manor’s ties with Ferrari, but equally I think Ferrari know that he will benefit more from further experience in the junior categories. Vandoorne, by contrast, is as ready for an F1 drive as Nico Hulkenberg was in 2009, and personally I was disappointed McLaren didn’t push harder for a race drive in 2015 for the Belgian. He has just spent two consecutive years in F1’s two premier league categories, and as a rookie was ranked P2 in each season, winning his debut race on both occasions. That is unprecedented.

        Merhi is looking like a tragic case. I hear whispers that the Mercedes backing that was behind that fabulous FR3.5 campaign last year, and equally those FP1s for Caterham, has dried up – he’s certainly no longer Mercedes’ DTM reserve. The only really realistic candidates for the second Manor seat are as follows:

        Max Chilton
        Alexander Rossi
        Esteban Gutierrez

        It’s not the most inspiring list, but beggars can’t be choosers…

        1. @countrygent I wonder if anyone will seek out 5 races in the second seat to get around the 2016 super licence rules? Wehrlein, Wolff?

          Failing that (if Mercedes/Toto are successful in lobbying the FIA), Magnussen is twiddling his thumbs once Alonso returns, while nothing has been heard of from Sutil, Van der Garde.

          Rossi was trying to move back to Indycar, although if he can bring anything then surely this is an option. Same for Merhi – what about Juncadella/Astana?

          Now, Ferrari claim Gutierrez needs a better introduction to F1 – what about the second Manor seat? Although he’s going backwards at this point, not forwards like Ricciardo..

        2. As indycar-bound goes to Max and Rossi. Only Sutil or VDG available now.

  14. they should allow one car teams again…

  15. IF they can’t use the 2014 chassis, then they need to submit a new one to FIA approval and it must pass the mandatory crash-tests, right?
    They might show up at Melbourne with a car that they not will not be approved to race, but at least they show-up and probably can run it during the Practice sessions on Friday, thus getting some air time and putting the foot on the door, so to speak…

    Or am I wrong about the crash-test approval?

  16. Finally a competitive foe for McLaren.

  17. Could the second driver be the multiple-champion, Davide Valesecchi…

    1. hah… unfortunately it is not about the driving skill, but the money instead.

  18. The ones who are not liking the return of Manor/Marussia deserve Ecclestone and his foolish ways.
    Teams like them are a part of F1 and always have been there. If you can’t understand or respect that i suspect you don’t what F1 is.

    More and more I believe that the majority complain about F1 because Ferrari or Alonso are not winning.

  19. Another_unknown
    25th February 2015, 17:54

    Stevens is a very good drive. Glad to see him back.

  20. I don’t see Manor racing for prize money alone
    Sure it’s a huge sum of cash , so it is also to race this year ,
    I honestly feel these guys just want to race F1 ,

    The money involved to go F1 racing is about to be its undoing !

    Near half a billion $$$ for Ferrari to race 1 year,

    Their not run by passionate Italians anymore willing to race at any cost , it’s board driven and major share holders will want returns/investment ratios that F1 is not giving them ,

  21. Russell Peterson
    26th February 2015, 15:08

    Will Stevens got within about half a second of Kamui Kobayashi in qualifying for the last Grand Prix last season, and did a pretty respectable job in the race. Don’t forget that Marussia started out as Manor’s F1 arm, Manor Grand Prix being one of the three teams tempted into F1 under Max Moseley’s budget-capping initiative that was promptly forgotten about.

    As for the second seat, I think it will be a newbie with cash. Manor need as much finance as they can get, and why wouldn’t you move heaven and earth to make it back if you had £30+million waiting for you in well-earned prize money? That alone will help the team to pay off its creditors.

    Good luck to them!

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