The Manor F1 Team – previously Marussia – has released a statement revealing that they hope to be on the grid in Australia.
The team, who folded at the end of last year and missed the final three races, recently exited administration and revealed they hoped to race in 2015. A plan to race with their 2014 car was vetoed by some teams but they have today released a statement revealing their intentions to be on the grid in just over two weeks time.
A post on their Facebook page read:
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.
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 where personnel are working 24/7 towards the air freight despatch date of 6 March.
As the sport counts down to the curtain-raising 2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix in 18 days time, Manor is now in a position to be able to provide regular updates on its preparations for Melbourne and wider plans for the season, including the completion of its driver line-up.
Along with the statement the team also confirmed their first driver – Will Stevens. Stevens acted as a reserve driver for the team in the later stages of the 2014 season before racing for Caterham in Abu Dhabi. In the past Manor has played a part in the early careers of such drivers as Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton. “It’s very exciting to see everything coming together at Manor after the tremendous effort that has gone into saving the team,” Stevens explained. “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.”
Reaching the grid in Melbourne would also mean a financial boost for the team as they would receive the prize money for finishing ninth in the constructors championship, thanks to the two points won by Jules Bianchi in Monaco. Despite the fact that their factory was bought by Haas F1 (due to enter the sport next year) and the opposition to their plans to race with the 2014 car, it looks like the team could overcome their problems to unexpectedly make the grid in Australia which is good news for the sport.
Update: An updated entry list released by the FIA includes the team but their entry is subject to the full compliance with the 2015 regulations. Will Stevens entry is subject to the holding of a superlicence.