Marussia vow to fight on despite car setback

The Marussia Formula One team refused to give up their fight for survival on Friday after rivals voted down a proposal for them to race with last year`s cars.

Reuters| Last Updated: Feb 07, 2015, 09:15 AM IST
Marussia vow to fight on despite car setback

London: The Marussia Formula One team refused to give up their fight for survival on Friday after rivals voted down a proposal for them to race with last year`s cars.

The British-based outfit said their plan to come out of administration on Feb. 19 and compete again was workable.

"We are doing everything possible to adhere to the process set out for us to return," sporting director Graeme Lowdon said in a statement.

"This is a fantastic good news story for the whole sport and we just want to go racing."

The Formula One strategy group, which comprises champions Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Force India plus the governing FIA and commercial rights holders, ruled out the 2014 car proposal on Thursday.

Their response did little to dispel the notion of the sport being a `piranha club` with members primarily focused on their own interests despite a dwindling number of competitors.

Without Marussia there will be only nine teams and 18 cars, with some of those also in financial difficulty.

Force India`s deputy principal Bob Fernley, who joined Sauber and Lotus last year in calling for more help to struggling teams and more of the revenues, voted against Marussia`s application which he said was "speculative".

"During the meeting it emerged there were compliance issues and the application lacked substance," said Fernley whose own team have yet to test their new car and have had to deny rumours of financial trouble.

"Given the lack of information, uncertain guarantees and the speculative nature of the application, the decision was taken it is better to focus on ensuring the continued participation of the remaining independent teams."

Marussia, who ceased trading last October, disagreed.

They said they were told on Jan. 5 the Strategy Group felt they and Caterham, who have also folded, could race a 2014 car if it complied with all but four of the articles in the 2015 technical regulations.

Racing an old car would have made it easier for Marussia to make it to the opening Australian Grand Prix on March 15 but the rules allow teams to miss three rounds, which could give them an extra month.

Marussia, who have paid an entry fee as Manor Grand Prix, finished ninth last year and are set for 30 million pounds ($45.97 million) in prize money that would otherwise go to rivals.