Feb.27 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Friday is another crucial day in the history of the reborn Marussia team.
Now called Manor, the backmarker is expected to be listed on the delayed 2015 entry list, which is set to be released by the governing FIA on Friday.
It will then give the team exactly one week to complete the 2015 adaptations to its 2014 cars, pass the mandatory crash tests, and pack up the equipment to be shipped to Australia next Friday.
Crash tests with FIA observers have been booked for March 5 — the day before the F1 freight deadline.
The FIA’s entry fee of over half a million dollars has been paid, and rookie Will Steven’s name lodged as the first race driver.
McLaren-linked duo Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne are reportedly in the running for the other seat.
McLaren is staying put as a technology partner and wind tunnel supplier, and fellow creditor Ferrari is making available a supply of 2014-spec engines, “but only if EUR 10 million is paid in advance”, reported Auto Motor und Sport.
It is already known that former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King is one of the team saviours, but on Friday the leader of the British consortium became known — Stephen Fitzpatrick.
He heads a British electricity and gas supplier called Ovo Energy.
It is believed Manor will race with a British racing license, honouring not only the new owners but also founder John Booth, whose Yorkshire facility is now housing the team.
But there is no guarantee Manor’s planned resurrection will actually succeed.
Firstly, the car will surely be hopelessly off the pace, as the rest of the field has made a couple of seconds per lap of progress since 2014.
“If they are ten seconds off the pace,” Felipe Massa is quoted by f1-insider.com, “it would be better if they did not come back.”
That sort of laptime deficit would also see Manor fall foul of the 107 per cent qualifying rule.
Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile, reportedly fears Manor’s investors are only making the rescue bid in order to collect the $47 million in official prize money from 2014.
“Apparently,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt, “Ecclestone has asked the new owners to deposit the same amount in the bank, just to make sure the project is reputable.
“Until now, only a tenth of the sum has been lodged,” he added.