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Strategy Group blocks Marussia return

NEWS STORY
05/02/2015

Hopes of Marussia's return to the grid in 2015 have been dashed by the F1 Strategy Group, which met in Paris today.

Meeting to discuss a number of issues relating to the future of the sport, the Strategy Group, which comprises six leading teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone, also discussed the possible return of the British outfit.

However, whereas at its previous meeting in Abu Dhabi in December, it had given the green light to Caterham and Marussia running their 2014 cars this season, if it would allow them to continue, it is understood that at least one team has now gone back on the proposal. Naturally, with just five weeks before until the cars take to the track for FP1 in Melbourne, it would be impossible to produce a new nose far less a whole new car for the new (for 2015) regulations.

While sceptics will argue that the reality of the situation is that the teams are more interested in the (rumoured) 35m prize money the team was owed, the fact is that the hopes of a team and its employees and fans have been dashed, just 24 hours after it was revealed that the team would exit administration on 19 February, the day the first Barcelona test gets underway.

The news follows today's revelation that all attempts to save Caterham have also failed, the Leafield based outfit's assets to be sold at a series of auctions.

Caterham and Marussia, albeit under different names, entered the sport in 2010, encouraged by the promise of a budget cap that would go some way to levelling the playing field. However, the bigger teams subsequently vetoed the proposal and after that it was merely a question of when, as opposed to if, the two teams would go under - the third new team, Hispania, having gone under at the end of 2012.

With just eight teams contesting this week's test at Jerez, fans got a glimpse of how bare the grid could look unless something is done to control spending. Force India, one of three teams extremely vocal at the end of 2014, and now a member of the Strategy Group having finished sixth in the 201 standings, was missing, and whilst it insists its new car will debut at the second Barcelona test, speculation over its future continues. Speculation which in itself undermines the teams - and the sport.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 07/02/2015 5:33

"The Strategy group may have determined that the 2014 Marussia would be faster than the leading 2015 F1 cars. Imagine that."

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2. Posted by Jimbo473, 06/02/2015 21:36

"I hope Marussia (Manor) make it to the grid 2015. I think it's disgraceful the way these top teams, which have so much more funds act. Ferrari get more than most with the other top teams not far behind. How Force India have the nerve to block it as they haven't even got their 2015 car running just shows the state of F1. Marussia was the new Minardi. I hope Carl Hass is taking notes. Long live the small independent teams."

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3. Posted by Tballdan, 06/02/2015 7:58

"Couldn't agree more with your comments, Darvi."

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4. Posted by Darvi, 06/02/2015 7:32

"What kind of strategy group would make such a stupid decision..... it should be called "protecting our self interest" group. Do they really think that audiences will flock to watch 14 cars driving round and round..... I certainly won't and I am a fairly hard core F1 fan. As someone else mentioned, it is nausiating. F1 looks to be in a steep downward spiral at the moment with Bernie out of touch, Todt apparrently not giving a toss and the teams to stupid and greedy to act in the interests of the sport, how sad, it is like a dinosaur signing its own death warrant."

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5. Posted by Steve Campbell, 06/02/2015 6:26

"It's always about the money....this is getting sickening. But I've said here before Bernie MUST go. What else needs to be damaged? Not embracing, social media, falling audiences everywhere, slower cars (check lap records from 11 years ago that still stand), ignoring new and/or younger audiences. Case in point - hardly any sponsors. Maybe someone can explain how a team like McLaren with Honda and 2 world champion drivers is about to head into another season with blank cars.....and they aren't alone. It's simple - companies won't sponsor because they don't believe they can sell their product or get a return. Therefore, the conduit to achieve this that is F1 is failing. It is about the money, but sustainability is achieved when the majority prosper.

Bernie - no cash allowed through the Pearly Gates my friend..... Doesn't matter how much you've got."

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6. Posted by TokyoAussie, 06/02/2015 3:50

"Did I read correctly? The same group gave the green light to Marussia at the end of last year, and in early February have backtracked? If I were Marussia, that is the stuff of court cases."

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7. Posted by stackvideo, 05/02/2015 23:36

"Is there a fan club for the safety/pace car as I've lost all respect for the six leading teams. "

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8. Posted by Peter W, 05/02/2015 22:15

"I have been an F1 nutter since 1969 but sadly I have to say this makes me sick to the core. Bernie is long past his sell by date 15 years ago and must move on. How many billions are enough and, dear Bernie, the shroud has no pockets. If this lot of plonkers had their way there would be just 12 cars on the grid playing to empty grandstands. ARL has a point but this is self destruct of the highest order. F1 has lost its way. All teams should receieve the same revenue with a proviso no points after 2 seasons and they are on their own. Im am not a Marussia fan but I think the sport has TOTALLY lost its way"

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9. Posted by Burton, 05/02/2015 22:11

"who gets the prize money then? back to Bernie or redistributed to the other teams?


this is completely ridiculous."

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10. Posted by ARL, 05/02/2015 22:04

"The "self-interest" may have included memories of the 31m+ owed to Ferrari, McLaren and Pirelli by the defunct team, not to mention the other 29m of debts outstanding at the time of closure. Besides - what were they going to use for drivers, engines, production facilities, design and trackside staff or even 2015 compliant chassises? Not even Ron and Eric could put a positive spin on that load of issues. "

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11. Posted by scf1fan, 05/02/2015 21:12

"Hey Carl! (Hass) You know what a Ponzi scheme is don't you? Where they suck people in on the low end so the guys at the top can get more . . . Sort of sounds like F1 over the last few years doesn't it. (And I wish I was joking. :-("

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