21. Manor Marussia

S4616 Manor Marussia MR03B No.28 2015 Manor Marussia F1 Team – Will Stevens
S4617 Manor Marussia MR03B No.98 2015 Manor Marussia F1 Team – Roberto Merhi

In November 2014 the lights from Marussia were turned off. The team became insolvent. The materials had been inspected and prepared for the auctions.

The first one took place in December. The second one should be performed in January. Only the most venturous optimists would have predicted the team to be returned in 2015. However, the team chef John Booth and especially the sporting director Graeme Lowdon didn’t give up. They had been searching for sponsors and tried to convince the F1 chef Bernie Ecclestone, that the team must have one future. The first sponsor they found in Stephen Fitzpatrick from North Ireland. The businessman was a big fan of the Formula 1 and was ready to invest. In this way the racing team could manage to turn the tide a few weeks before the season opening. Of course it was no time to build a new car. That’s why the team with the new name Manor instead of Marussia had no other choice than to adapt the last year’s car from the MR03 series to the new regulation. The modification was necessary mainly at the nose part. The new crash structures should be implemented. Manor could make it and could really be on the spot at the season opening in Melbourne. However, it was impossible to get done the cars in the running order. From the Grand Prix of Malaysia the team could start with two cars. Needless to say that Manor had no chance against their competitors, but reached the goal to overcome the 107-percent-hurdle in the qualifying. It was very difficult to break forth and the plans to build a new car to the GP in Belgium were never realized. The team decided to race with the modified M03 until the end of the season. Only the next year a new car will appear. The lessons have been learnt from the past and today Manor’s position is better than ever. The team doesn’t have enough budget to play main roles, but the danger of insolvency is cleared. “We don’t have debts anymore”, says the sporting director Lowdon. This season is no use for the drivers Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi. “We have our own race”, tells Merhi who has experience from the DTM. Since the Canadian GP Canada the car looks not that pale anymore like at the beginning of the season. With “Airbnb” a sponsor could be gained that can contribute a part to the modest budget of the team, at least until the end of the year. “We are focused on 2016” says team chef John Booth. “We must worthy finish this season. Moreover, it serves to gain experience, which we can use for constructing our new car for the next season.” Manor will start with Mercedes-Benz engines. This will boost the team for sure. “Then there are no more excuses. And we have to manage to get close to the performance of the other teams”, explains Lowdon.

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