The latest news in Formula 1 is that Marussia may not be down for the count just yet. The team has been in administration with its assets likely to be sold off but a halt was placed on the auction as a possible investor was rumored to have been found.
It seems that the investor may have placated the administrators as the team have paid their entry fee for the 2015 season. FRP Advisory released a statement:
“Since the appointment of administrators, negotiations have taken place with a number of parties to try and secure a long term solution for the team.
“We can confirm that negotiations continue towards a longer term viable solution for the business and participation of a team in the 2015 season.
“It is envisaged that, prior to the commencement of the first race of the 2015 season, investment into the business will be made upon the company exiting from administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (‘CVA’), which is planned for 19 February 2015.
“A CVA is a restructuring process agreed with the company’s creditors which allows for a turnaround of the business and the creation of a longer term viable solution for the team.”
This means that the team may not only be in Australia for the first race but it could be exiting receivership with its new investors. This adds a element of difficulty to the mix as the team are set to reap $30+ million in prize money for their 9th place finish in the 2014 Constructor’s Championship—had they not been able to continue, the money would have been given to other small teams and as AUTOSPORT points out, this is a bit of a concern.
The team doesn’t have time to create a new chassis for 2015 and thus, they need to be able to run the 2014 car. The big teams have said they would allow that if it meant Marussia could be saved but the small teams may not be too keen to see them return as that would mean they lose the Marussia prize money that would have been given to them if Marussia had not made it to the grid.
Another challenge, not insurmountable, might be the technical situation regarding a new engine supply and a long-term plan to move the team forward. There is a cynical side to me that suggests the $30 million prize money would be very alluring to Marussia’s creditors and if they could devise a way to get the team on the grid in order to get their hands on the cash, that would pay down some of the debt the team owes.
Whether or not the team survives for the remainder of the season may not be as important to them or they could simply be looking for someone to run the 2014 car for a season on a shoestring budget in order to get their hands on the prize money. Let’s hope that isn’t the case as I like the folks at Marussia a lot and would love to see this little team survive and thrive.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT