The lack of sustainability in the sport was brought into sharp focus once again yesterday, as Marussia have followed Caterham into the hands of administrators. The Banbury squad have faced an arduous few weeks and after F1-supremo Bernie Ecclestone announced that they would not attend the US Grand Prix two days ago, yesterday’s news was hugely disappointing yet somewhat predictable. The race is now on to find a buyer, yet reports would suggest that they are closer to investment than Caterham.
|“Marussia Chilton” by emporernie
Licensed under CC-BY-2.0
The Search Begins
After writing an article based on the lack of financial sustainability in the sport just three days ago, I am not about to evaluate the reasons why such a predicament has occurred. However, missing the US Grand Prix due to financial issues is a significantly less poignant issue than missing the event in the hands of the administrators. The problem faced by both Marussia and Caterham has suddenly become a far more distinguishable issue and the threat of three car teams, which seemed a more theoretical concept up until a few days ago, is now a daunting prospect. Should neither of the two aforementioned teams reappear, then the sport is only one team away from a structural metamorphosis and a largely unwelcome one at that.
However, it is important to note that reports paint a far more positive picture of the Banbury affairs compared with their Leafield counterparts. Prior to the announcement of their administration, it was rumored in The Telegraph that Marussia were close to sealing an investment deal worth £55 million. Regardless of whether these investors are still interested in the team, the fact that no redundancies have been made at the factory gives Marussia a sizable advantage over Caterham. The prospect of a £40 million payday for finishing in ninth place in the constructors should also be an attractive proposition to potential investors.
Regardless, I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope that both Marussia and Caterham attract the injection of funding that is needed to not only return them to the grid, but make them a more potent force in the future. With each and every 2010 inductee team suffering at the hands of finances, there needs to be evidence that in the right conditions, a new team can challenge the establishment.