While 8 of the confirmed entrants for the 2015 F1 season continued testing in Jerez, news has emerged that the former Marussia team (now known as Manor) will leave administration on February 19th in a position to re-join the grid for 2015.
There were rumours yesterday that members of the team had been recalled to the headquarters in Banbury ahead of a possible return, which became more plausible as the day went on, and were revealed on Twitter by Tobias Gruner of Auto Motor und Sport:
Will Marussia return to the grid? According to AMuS information, several members of the #F1 team were called to the factory yesterday.
— Tobias Grüner AMuS (@tgruener) February 4, 2015
It appears that Manor have managed to secure enough investment to re-enter the sport as a going concern, and are hopeful that they will be on the grid in Melbourne – although it’s unlikely that they will have a viable 2015 car to use, and will instead rely on revamping their 2014 challenger which is apparently still in Abu Dhabi after the team’s failed return for the final grand prix of the 2014 season.
Although Marussia / Manor have had historic links with the Ferrari team, running their engines last season, and being home to Jules Bianchi, it’s rumoured that one of the players in Manor’s reappearance is McLaren, with the Woking team looking at running Manor as a B team similar to Red Bull / Toro Rosso.
This has not been confirmed, but following on from the performance of the McLaren Honda in testing, any opportunity to get extra miles on the engine and gearbox, even in the back of a heavily modified 2014 spec car would be pretty welcome.