Not the end? Marussia auction halted for talks with possible investor

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Dim hopes of keeping Marussia on the Formula One grid for 2015 have suddenly been revived.

The Banbury team had already gone through with an auction last month, and was set to have another one for its more essential elements – race cars, spares, and pit equipment – this Wednesday.

But the team’s administrators, London-based FRP Advisory, have released a statement saying that it’s halted the Wednesday auction so the team can speak with a potential new investor.

In comments to the BBC, Marussia boss John Booth said that the team was “at a fairly advanced stage with a new investor – a credible investor.”

Booth sounded optimistic that a deal can be struck, putting the chance at “pretty high.” But he also admitted that such a deal must be in place “in the next couple of weeks” to get the team to the first Grand Prix of the year in March at Melbourne, Australia.

Marussia, along with fellow F1 minnow Caterham, both went into administration during the tail end of the 2014 season. Marussia wound up ceasing operations in November, and a last-minute attempt to compete in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix did not go through.

Booth noted that the team’s cars remain in Abu Dhabi, and can be packed up and shipped to Oz for this year’s curtain-raiser. However, in order to use those 2014-spec entries, the team would need a dispensation from the FIA – something that Caterham has already received in the event that it finds a new buyer for its own program.

Marussia still remains on the FIA’s provisional entry list for the 2015 season under the name of Manor Grand Prix.