FIA issues updated F1 entry list including “Manor Marussia”


The FIA has issued the updated entry list for the 2015 Formula 1 season, confirming that Manor Marussia F1 Team (formerly known as Marussia) has a place on the grid, subject to its car complying with the regulations.

Both Marussia and Caterham F1 Team encountered financial difficulties towards the end of last season, with both companies entering administration.

Although Caterham was able to return for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the team’s bid to find fresh investment eventually fell flat, resulting in its closure.

However, Marussia was given a fresh lease of life when some investment was found at the last minute, and the team confirmed earlier this week that it planned to be in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix will Will Stevens as one of its drivers.

Now, the FIA has released its official entry list with Marussia on board, listed as “Manor Marussia F1 Team”. A footnote does confirm that its place on the grid is only subject to compliance with the 2015 technical regulations. The team had asked to race with its 2014 car this year, only for the F1 Strategy Group to reject the plan.

Following the closure of the team, Caterham has been left off the entry list, confirming that it will not be racing in any shape or form this year.

2015 FIA F1 World Championship – Updated Entry List

#44 – Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
#6 – Nico Rosberg Mercedes
#3 – Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
#26 – Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
#19 – Felipe Massa Williams
#77 – Valtteri Bottas Williams
#5 – Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
#7 – Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
#14 – Fernando Alonso McLaren
#22 – Jenson Button McLaren
#27 – Nico Hulkenberg Force India
#11 – Sergio Perez Force India
#33 – Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
#55 – Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso
#8 – Romain Grosjean Lotus
#13 – Pastor Maldonado Lotus
#9 – Marcus Ericsson Sauber
#12 – Felipe Nasr Sauber
TBA – Will Stevens* Manor Marussia**
TBA – TBA Manor Marussia**

*subject to holding of a super licence
**subject to compliance with the 2015 technical regulations

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.