Manor plans to race in Australia, Stevens confirmed to drive

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Russian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Sochi, Russia

Manor says it is making ‘great strides’ towards returning to the Formula 1 grid in time for the 2015 season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The team formerly known as Marussia collapsed into administration late last year and subsequently missed the final three races of the year.

Manor was granted a Company Voluntary Arrangement last week, handing control back to the team directors, while Ferrari confirmed that it will provide the squad with engines in 2015.

The team says the preparation of the car it intends to race at the start of the season is at an ‘advanced stage’ of readiness.

“The Manor Marussia F1 Team is making huge strides towards the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship season opener in Melbourne, Australia, in just over two weeks’ time,” a statement released by the team on Thursday reads.

“The approval by the Company’s creditors on 19 February 2015 to a Company Voluntary Arrangement paves the way for the team to exit from administration and since that time everyone involved with Manor has been working flat out on the key components of its 2015 challenge.

“The car with which Manor will begin the season is now in an advanced stage of build at the team’s current race preparation facility in Dinnington, UK, where personnel are working 24-7 towards the air freight despatch date of 6 March.”

Manor has confirmed that one-time Caterham racer Will Stevens, who made his Formula 1 debut at last year’s season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will drive for the team in 2015.

“The next exciting step for the team is to make the first of its driver line-up announcements, with the news that Will Stevens will be an official 2015 Manor race driver,” the team statement continues.

“Will, 23, is known to the team from his brief time in the role of Marussia Reserve Driver towards the end of the 2014 season.

“He went on to race for Caterham in the season finale in Abu Dhabi and produced the impressive performance anticipated of a driver who has won races in every category in which he has competed, against some of the very best junior drivers.

“A fundamental element of the Manor philosophy has always been to provide opportunity for the next generation of motor racing talent, a part of the team’s long and proud history that will be retained into the future.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Japanese Grand Prix - Preparation Day - Suzuka, Japan

“Manor has started many young drivers out on the path to success, including Formula One world champions Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.”

Stevens added: “It’s very exciting to see everything coming together at Manor after the tremendous effort that has gone into saving the team.

“It would not have been possible without the incredible support we have received from all the suppliers and from within the sport, but most of all the fantastic team of people at Manor who are working around the clock to ensure we are ready for Melbourne.

“My thanks to the team for their confidence in me and I can’t wait to see all the hard work rewarded when we line up on the grid in two weeks’ time.”

This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Images courtesy of Manor Marussia F1 Team

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