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Manor team 'had no intention of racing'

2015-03-17 07:59

READY BUT NOWHERE TO GO: Manor Marussia driver Max Chilton had high hopes of competing in Australia. Image: Twitter.


LONDON, England - Manor Marussia had no intention of competing in Formula 1's Australian season-opener on March 16 and will pay a price for not doing so, the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone indicated on Monday (March 16 2015).

The struggling team, which emerged from the remains of the failed Marussia outfit after going into administration and missing the final three races of 2014, failed to turn a wheel on the track in Melbourne. It missed all three practice sessions and Saturday qualifying, blaming software problems, which ruled the team out of the race.

However, the team escaped any sanction with stewards deciding to take no action after an inquiry decided the team had made "all reasonable endeavour" to get the cars ready.


Ecclestone said: "We should have never, ever, ever, allowed Manor to do what it has done. It's our fault. I predicted this would happen. The team had no intention of racing in Australia. Zero. It couldn't have raced if somebody had gone there with a machine-gun and put it to their head.

"It was impossible... they had no intention. We'll have to see now. And they will have to pay."

Marussia, ninth overall in 2014 thanks to a ninth-place finish by Frenchman Jules Bianchi in Monaco, won a race against time to get its cars through crash-tests and on to the air charter for Australia.

Ecclestone said there had been no charge for the freight because the team was entitled to that providing it was competing. "It did not compete so will have to pay for that."

The team is in line for about $50-million of revenue from the 2014 season but would have forfeited that had it not  turned up to compete in Australia with cars that satisfied the regulations.


Sporting director Graeme Lowdon told Sky Sports TV on Saturday, the day before the GP: "We knew we had the possibility of unknown problems and we didn't have the benefit of sorting out some of those problems in pre-season testing. Equally, we had to come here on the basis that we're racing so we brought all of our normal equipment.

"There's 28 tons of equipment to support these cars and all of the staff," he added before the Australian race.

"We are trying very hard but it is a tough thing to do in the time available."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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