Marussia enters administration, confirms US GP absence

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Marussia F1 Team has confirmed that it will not be racing at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix after entering administration.

Following the news that Caterham would miss the race at the Circuit of The Americas due to its financial predicament, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed last week that Marussia would also not be making the trip over to Austin, Texas due to its own struggles.

In a statement, the administrators at Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd. (the company that trades as Marussia F1 Team) confirmed that the Anglo-Russian team will not be racing in Austin this weekend.

“Whilst the team has made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, the highlight of which included securing two constructors championship points in the current F1 season, the position remains that operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment,” the statement read.

“With the existing shareholder unable to provide the required level of funding, the senior management team has worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long-term future, but regrettably has been unable to do so within the time available.

“Therefore, they have been left with no alternative but to place the company into administration.

“With the Marussia F1 Team now in administration, the joint administrators have assessed that, given the current financial circumstances of the Group, it is not viable for the Marussia F1 Team to participate in the next race, the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, due to take place this weekend in Austin, Texas.

“The Company will continue to operate while the joint administrators assess the longer term viability of the Company in its present form.

“Following Austin, there are two further rounds of the 2014 championship remaining, in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi, and the team’s participation in those races will depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity.

“No redundancies have been made following the company’s entering into administration and all staff have been paid in full to the end of October.

“The ongoing staff position will however be dependent on whether the company can secure new investment in the limited time available.”

As a result, the grid in Austin will, as expected, be reduced to just 18 cars. This marks a nine-year low for Formula 1, which has not had just 18 cars starting a race weekend since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix when BAR was banned for two races.

Given that both teams have entered administration, unless a new buyer or fresh investment is found fast, it is unlikely that either Caterham or Marussia will take part in any more races this season.

The Concorde Agreement – the rights that all teams agree to when racing in F1 – does permit teams to miss three races without facing a penalty, meaning that it would be possible for Caterham or Marussia to return for the start of the 2015 season.

However, entries for next year must be submitted by November 1st, giving both operations precious little time to find the required investment.

Marussia’s demise also puts the career of American racer Alexander Rossi at risk. The Californian had been working as the team’s reserve driver, but this absence from Austin may have denied him a possible F1 debut for a third time.

As Formula 1’s cost crisis begins to bite, the sport will only be poorer for the absence of both Caterham and Marussia in Austin.

Tempers flare as Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais collide at Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS — A multicar crash with just over 20 laps remaining in the Indianapolis 500 had tempers flaring Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Graham Rahal angrily confronted Sebastien Bourdais after the two collided while racing for position entering the third turn. As they spun beside each other, Rahal threw his hands up in the air and continued to gesture wildly at Bourdais as their cars came to a stop.

Rahal scrambled out of his car and went directly to Bourdais’ cockpit to scream at the driver before the safety crew arrived. Rahal then yanked off his gloves and threw them in his car after punching the air a few times.

The crash began after Bourdais’ left rear tire hit Rahal’s right front as they entered the corner and Bourdais seemed to come down on Rahal’s line.

“I’m just very disappointed,” Rahal told NBC Sports after being released from the care center. “It’s just another year to sit and think about it. I respect Sebastien as a driver, but I don’t respect that move.

“At those speeds, that’s how you kill somebody. I’m just not a fan of squeezing and putting people in those positions.”

Bourdais climbed out of his car shortly afterward and seemed unhurt. He was cited for avoidable contact by the IndyCar stewards and seemed somewhat remorseful about the move in an interview with NBC Sports.

“I didn’t think he had as much of the car as he did,” Bourdais said. “It’s always a dynamic thing. He got a run, it stalled there for a while, we made contact, and it sets up the whole thing. At that point. I’m just trying to collect the whole thing. It’s always easy to say I should have given up going into the corner.”

Rahal and Bourdais were former teammates at Newman-Haas Raccing.

“He’s been struggling all day,” Rahal said. “I was lifting a little bit to manage my gap. You can see him squeezing me and turns into me, and there nothing you can do. With 20 to go, you have to go. I think Sebastien knows that, which is probably why he hasn’t said much to me.”

The race was red-flagged at 3:17 p.m. on Lap 180 of 200 to clean up the debris from the multicar pileup.