Marussia aiming for Abu Dhabi grid

Published: Monday 3rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Cash-strapped Marussia are planning to be on the grid for the season-ending grand prix in Abu Dhabi, Press Association Sport has learned.

A week ago the team were placed in administration under the charge of London-based restructuring and recovery firm FRP Advisory.

The bombshell came just three days after Caterham also entered into administration, leaving Formula One with just nine teams and 18 cars on the grid for Sunday’s race in the United States.

It was the lowest number of entrants since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix, and prompted a backlash from other smaller marques over the weekend as F1’s financial structure was held up for scrutiny.

Suggestions of a boycott of the race by Sauber, Lotus and Force India threatened to put F1 in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Ulimately, the ‘strike’ was called off following personal intervention from Donald Mackenzie, the co-chairman of commercial rights holders CVC Capital Partners.

Behind the scenes at the Circuit of the Americas, Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon held numerous key meetings, notably with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, in a bid to resolve his team’s crisis.

It is understood a financial rescue package is being lined up with new investors, with the freight ready to be hauled to Abu Dhabi for the November 21-23 event at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Marussia, like Caterham, were given dispensation by Ecclestone to miss the race in America and next weekend’s grand prix in Brazil.

Being in Abu Dhabi, though, is crucial to Marussia’s future as they remain in the hunt for a ninth-place finish in the constructors’ championship, and with it a significant windfall.

Under F1’s complicated payment structure, back-to-back top 10 places in the standings would lead to a prize fund of 40million US dollars (£25million), although there may be penalties for missing two races.

That would go a long way to guaranteeing Marussia’s place on the grid in 2015 as Press Association Sport also understands the team has lodged an entry for next season.

That would be as per the regulations as all teams have to confirm by November 1 whether they intend to compete the following season.

It is believed the Banbury-based marque has entered under the name Manor Grand Prix, the moniker under which they first started out in F1 five years ago before becoming Virgin Racing.

Published: Monday 3rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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