Marussia team could make Formula 1 return this season

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Marussia in 2014
Marussia missed the last three races of the 2014 season

The Marussia team's chances of returning to Formula 1 this season have increased.

The team ceased trading last November but there is now a plan for them to come out of administration on 19 February and receive new investment.

Administrators FRP Advisory said the company was making "progress towards a longer-term viable solution".

Marussia's president Graeme Lowdon has sourced new investors, the identity of which is not yet known.

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Banbury-based Marussia have entered an arrangement called a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), which is where the creditors accept a write-down - fixed amount - for the money they are owed.

It is the first step to liquidating the company and reconstituting its assets into a new business.

This latest news follows the cancelling last month of an auction of the team's remaining assets, including the 2014 cars they will need if they are to race in 2015.

But even if the money is secured, Marussia still require agreement from the other teams to allow them to run last year's cars this season, as they do not comply with the latest rules.

There is a meeting of the rule-making strategy group on 5 February when this matter will almost certainly be raised.

Administrator Geoff Rowley said: "Since the appointment of administrators, negotiations have taken place with a number of parties to try to secure a long-term solution for the team.

"We can confirm that negotiations continue towards a longer-term viable solution for the business and participation of a team in the 2015 season.

Jules Bianchi sits in the cockpit of his Marussia
One of Marussia's drivers, Jules Bianchi, remains unconscious in hospital with severe head injuries following a crash at the Japanese GP last season

"It is envisaged that, prior to the commencement of the first race of the 2015 season, investment into the business will be made upon the company exiting from administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement, which is planned for 19 February 2015."

Marussia, whose name may change as a result of the new investment, have not raced since the 2014 Russian Grand Prix - they missed the final three races after they collapsed with £31 million of debt.

The largest creditor by far is engine supplier Ferrari, which was owed £16.6 million and would be expected to provide engines again this year should the team recover.

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