Marussia may return to F1 in 2015 as Manor after agreeing debt deal

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Marussia 2014 F1 car driven by Max Chilton
Marussia's 2014 Formula 1 car could yet return to the grid for the start of the 2015 season

The former Marussia team have taken a step towards returning to Formula 1 by finalising an agreement to come out of administration.

Having reverted to their original name of Manor, the team completed a company voluntary agreement (CVA) on Thursday, giving back control to the directors.

Manor has succeeded in finding new investment, with ex-Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King reportedly part of the consortium involved.

But Manor still faces some hurdles.

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They either need unanimous agreement from the other teams to be allowed to race their 2014 car for a limited period at the start of the season.

Or they face a race against time to build a new car to the 2015 regulations, which feature safety changes, so they can take part in the fourth race of the season in Bahrain on 19 April.

Teams are allowed to miss a maximum of three races in a season under the terms of their contracts with Formula 1.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator at FRP Advisory, said: "We are pleased that the financial restructuring of the company has been progressed after creditor approval of the CVA.

"With new investment and a continuity of the respected management, the business has the ideal platform from which it can accelerate the operational rebuilding already underway to get a team back racing.

"We shall complete our statutory duties as administrators with the necessary filings needed in order to formally exit the company from administration over the next few days."

Manor have so far not revealed details of the identity of the new investor, although King is reportedly involved.

Last week, Force India blocked Manor's return, saying their application "lacked substance".

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Manor retaliated by saying they had not been asked to make a presentation to the meeting in question and had already secured agreement from the F1 rule-making strategy group to run their 2014 car on a limited basis.

The situation remains unresolved.

Marussia collapsed after last October's Russian Grand Prix with £31m debt. By far the largest creditor was engine supplier Ferrari.