Marussia F1 Gets Unnamed Investor
22 Janvier 2015 - Autoblog
Marussia, it turns out, may not be down for the count just yet. The troubled Formula One team collapsed three races before the end of last season under the weight of its own debt, but now reports are indicating that a new deal is in the works that could bring the team back from the brink.
Although the identity of the secret investor has yet to be disclosed, team principal John Booth told the BBC that the team was "at a fairly advanced stage with a new investor – a credible investor." With the ies still to dot and the tees to cross, the owners of the troubled team have reportedly postponed the second of two auctions to liquidate its assets. Though its base of operations in Banbury, UK, has (along with other assets) reportedly been acquired by the new Haas outfit, the team's cars are said to still be sitting in Abu Dhabi where the final race of the season – in which the team did not compete – was held.
If everything goes according to plan, the team would scramble to get the cars ready and ship them off to Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix midway through March. It would need special dispensation from the FIA to run last year's cars in this year's championship, and has already received the go-ahead from the organization's strategy working group, but would still need to win a fax vote among the members of the body's World Motor Sport Council. Getting back up to speed would also require addressing the reported $47 million of debt it has accrued, including $25M to engine supplier Ferrari.
The team traces back to 2009 when Manor Motorsport was granted a slot on the starting grid for the following season, securing sponsorship and competing under the name Virgin Racing. Marussia came in the following season as a partner and subsequently took over and supported the team through the 2014 Russian Grand Prix, where it fielded one car that failed to finish the race. To date the team has won only two championship points over five seasons on the grid, scored when Jules Bianchi finished ninth in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix. Bianchi later suffered a catastrophic crash at Suzuka from which he has yet to recover.