Marussia/Manor has announced its plans to return to the Formula 1 grid this season, after the F1 Strategy Group blocked the team from using its 2014 car.
Marussia entered administration in October last year and missed the final three races of the season, but the team’s administrators confirmed earlier this week that it is set to exit administration on February 19.
However, it was confirmed on Thursday that the F1 Strategy Group had denied Marussia’s request to race its 2014 car this year, dealing a serious blow to the team’s hopes of returning to the Formula 1 grid.
The team – now under the Manor name – responded on Friday evening, confirming that it is preparing its 2014 car to meet the stipulations set out by the F1 Strategy Group last December, while pushing forward with the development of its 2015 car so it can supersede the old design.
Manor reveals it already has a significant number of staff working on both projects and has the benefit of a rich pool of unemployed to recruit from due to the collapse of Marussia and Manor, and the recent cuts made by other teams.
Former Marussia president Graeme Lowdon has praised the team’s early progress and rejected claims that it had submitted an application to Thursday’s Strategy Grouop meeting.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Pirelli