Reports: F1 teams reject Marussia’s request to use old car in 2015

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Marussia F1 Team’s bid to make a shock return to the grid for the 2015 Formula 1 season has been left in tatters after the F1 Strategy Group rejected its request to race with its 2014 car, according to reports surfacing on Thursday evening.

The team fell into administration following last October’s Russian Grand Prix, with the financial difficulties preventing it from racing at any of the last three races of the 2014 season.

However, it still managed to finish ninth in the constructors’ championship, and the administrators confirmed earlier this week that a rescue package was being put together that would allow the company to exit administration.

With most of its assets already sold and employees made redundant, no car had been built for the 2015 season, meaning that if Marussia were to race this year, it would have to use its 2014 car with small modifications to come in line with the new regulations.

The decision lay with the F1 Strategy Group which met in Paris today, but according to The Independent, its members rejected Marussia’s request.

Comprising of Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Force India, the body has met great criticism over the past eighteen months, with its exclusion of the smaller parties very nearly resulting in a three-team boycott of the United States Grand Prix back in November.

With just five weeks to go until the start of the 2015 season in Australia, it seems unlikely that Marussia will be able to race on this season, marking the second collapse of a team in the last 24 hours.

Earlier today, Caterham’s administrators confirmed that its remaining assets were to be auctioned off after a buyer could not be found to save the operation for the new season.

As touched upon earlier today, by refusing to allow Marussia back onto the grid for the 2015 season, the nine remaining teams are theoretically giving themselves a bigger share in the prize money on offer in F1.

Speaking to The Independent, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that talks had collapsed with a number of teams in opposition to Marussia’s return.

“They wanted to come in with last year’s car and it didn’t get accepted,” he said. “It needed all the teams to agree and there were three or four of them that didn’t agree.

“The money that they should have got gets distributed amongst the teams that are racing. That’s a pretty good reason I suppose.”

Despite being prepared to exit administration, the costs and time constraints involved with putting together a team to race in 2015 without using the existing car mean that this appears to be the end of the road for Marussia.

After five years of racing and a breakthrough in 2014 with Jules Bianchi’s ninth place finish at Monaco, the team’s F1 adventure has come to a sad end.

With just nine teams left in F1 and concerns about the futures of three of those outfits, the cost crisis looks set to only deepen further before it could reach a resolution.

Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toby Price win Dakar Rally

Dakar.com, Frederic le Floc'h / DPPI
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Driving a safe final stage that placed him 12th across the line, Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed his third Dakar Rally victory on Thursday. Toby Price claimed his second Dakar win in motorcycles after winning the final stage.

Al-Attiyah could afford to play it safe since he entered the stage with a 51-minute advantage over the field. Price barely had a minute to spare and was forced to push hard through the short 112-kilometer course.

Price’s victory was all the more dramatic in light of his riding the entire rally with a pin in his wrist from a broken scaphoid bone.

In the Quads class, Nicolas Cavigliasso showed his dominance by winning nine of the 10 stages.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, Last year’s overall class winner, Carlos Sainz finally earned a stage win, but it was too little, too late. … Sebastien Loeb challenged for the class win throughout the stage and finished less than one minute back. … Cyril Despres rounded out the top three. … Nani Roma finished sixth, four minutes behind the leader, but less than five minutes ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Class Leaders: Al-Attiyah won his third Dakar by a margin of 46:42 over Roma and one hour, 54:18 over Loeb.

In motorcycles, Toby Price saved the best for last. He won his first stage of the rally and secured the class win. … His victory came with a margin of 2:21 over Jose Florima. … Matthias Walkner enter entered the stage with an opportunity to take the overall lead. His third-place finish was not bad, but it came with his principal rival finishing first. … Pablo Quintanilla took a fall early in the stage and injured his foot. Riding hurt, he finished the stage 22nd – nearly 20 minutes off the pace. … American Andrew Short finished seventh for his eighth top 10 of the rally.

Class Leaders: Price ended the rally with the biggest advantage of the year. He beat Walkner by 9:13. Sam Sunderland finished third, 13:34 behind the leader.

In side by sides, Reinaldo Varela won his second consecutive stage and third overall. … He had a comfortable margin of 3:39 over Cristian Baumgart and 6:10 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

Class Leaders: Contardo’s third-place finish in the stage was more than enough to secure the class victory over Gerard Farres Guell, who finished one hour, 2:35. Varela finished one hour, 5:19 behind in third.

In quads, In a show of utter dominance, Nicolas Cavigliasso won his ninth stage of the year. … Alexandre Giroud stood on the podium for the fourth time this year. While he didn’t win a stage, he never finished worse than sixth. … Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli rounded out the top three.

Class Leaders: Cavigliasso won by an advantage of one hour, 55:37 over Ferioli and two hours, 11:38 over Gustavo Gallego

In trucks, Ton Van Genugton rebounded from a poor Stage 9 in which he finished 12th to win his second stage of the rally. … Ales Loprais scored his first podium of the rally; his previous best finish was fourth in Stage 9. … Dmitry Sotnikov stood on the final rung of the podium.

Class Leaders: Eduard Nikolaev finished sixth in the stage, but won with an advantage of 25:36 over Sotnikov and one hour, 34:44 over Gerard de Rooy

Stage Wins

Motorcycles
Sam Sunderland [2] (Stage 5 and 7), Matthias Walkner [2] (Stage 2 and 8), Joan Barreda [1] (Stage 1), Xavier de Soultrait [1] (Stage 3), Ricky Brabec [1] (Stage 4), Pablo Quintanilla [1] (Stage 6), Michael Metge [1] (Stage 9) and Toby Price [1] (Stage 10)

Quads
Nicolas Cavigliasso [9] (Stage 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli [1] (Stage 3)

Cars
Sebastien Loeb [4] (Stage 2, 5, 6 and 8), Nasser Al-Attiyah [3] (Stage 1, 4 and 9), Stephane Peterhansel [2] (Stage 3 and 7) and [1] Carlos Sainz

Side-by-sides
Francisco Lopez Contardo [4] (Stage 2, 6, 7 and 8), Reinaldo Varela [3] (Stage 1, 9 and 10), Gerard Farres Guell [1] (Stage 3), Sergei Kariakin [1] (Stage 4) and Rodrigo Piazzoli [1] (Stage 5)

Trucks
Eduard Nikolaev [3] (Stage 1, 2, and 9), Andrey Karginov [2] (Stage 3 and 4), Ton Van Genugton [2] (Stage 5 and 10), Dmitry Sotnikov [2] (Stage 6 and 8), and Gerard de Rooy [1] (Stage 7)

For more watch the daily highlight show on NBCSN. Click here for the complete schedule.

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