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GP Week : Issue 216
F1 >>> BUsinEss By Christian Sylt Bernie ecclestone has said that the recently-relaunched Manor team could be dropped from F1’s grid for missing the Australian GP. The team, which was known as Marussia until last year, missed the last three races of 2014 after its operating company Manor Grand Prix Racing (MGPR) went into administration in October. It hit the wall with total debts of $95.7m but emerged from administration in February through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and changed its name to Manor Grand Prix. It now has investment from Stephen Fitzpatrick, boss of energy firm Ovo whilst Justin King, the former boss of Sainsbury’s, is the team’s chairman. However, on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix, Ecclestone told the Independent “I don’t know whether they have got the money to race.” He added that “they can miss three races per contract so they would be history if they miss any more.” The team raced to get its 2015 car to the grid in Australia after its rivals voted against it using a modified version of the one from last year. However, the team failed to make it into the race after sitting out all three practice sessions and qualifying As Marussia was in limbo for three months it missed valuable development time on a 2015 car so it planned to use an updated version of last year’s model. Although its current car complies with the 2015 regulations it hasn’t been built from the ground up according to them. The team is still planning to launch a completely new car this year but that isn’t likely to be ready until around the middle of the season. The team was set up in 2010 with funding from Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), the private equity division of British bank Lloyds, which became its majority shareholder. However, its performance on track spluttered and it has only managed to score two points over the past four years with both won at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix. In April 2013 the Daily telegraph revealed that LDC had sold its shares to Marussia, the Russian sports car manufacturer which the team was named after. However, that wasn’t the end of the BERnIE: mAnoR 'HISToRY' FoR mISSIng AgP 28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: