New hope of a potential return for Marussia in 2015 has been established today, as the team have cancelled their forthcoming auction of the remaining equipment. The Banbury based squad have looked unlikely to claim their 2015 Manor GP entry, with their failure to attend the 2014 season finale in Abu Dhabi leading many to predict that the popular outfit had run their race. However, with a third party investor seemingly entering the closing stages of buyout talks, Manor GP is now a far more feasible prospect for an Australian GP appearance.
The auction, which was being treated as a deadline day for a potential buyout, was scheduled to take place on Wednesday. Crucially, the event has been cancelled rather than postponed, which suggests that there is substance behind the speculation of a potential return to the grid.
While Marussia’s situation may seem dire at first, upon reflection, they become a far more interesting prospect for potential investors. The much publicised debts of £60 million seem less poignant when considering that the team will earn £30 million in prize money, should a takeover occur. Moreover, they have proven that they can operate effectively on a low budget throughout 2014. Jules Bianchi’s points in Monaco is the most notable feature of the team’s CV, but 3 Q2 appearances last year should not go unnoticed.
I think I speak on behalf of every F1 fan when I will Marussia on to a successful future. Hopefully a buyout is possible and conducted by investors who have a long-term strategy to make Manor GP regular points-scorers – devotion to the cause will be necessary and the outfit will have to initiate a large-scale recruitment project, with many former team members, including Dave Greenwood, having found employment elsewhere. In addition, approval would need to be granted by the WMSC for the team to run a 2014 specification car, with the new season imminent. However, the latter should be easily achievable, as Caterham have already received similar dispensation.
After such a tough 2014, it would be a triumph to see the popular team make a popular return, regardless of the guise.
Image Credit: "Max Chilton 2014 Singapore FP3" By Morio (photo taken by Morio) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons