Manor Marussia F1 Team will be at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after all, with the team confirming more details of its entry on Wednesday in a press conference. The team left administration in February, to help pave the way for a comeback.
New investment has come from Ovo Energy founder Stephen Fitzpatrick, officially named today as principal investor, with Justin King, former CEO of Sainsbury’s, named as interim chairman.
“We’ve all worked incredibly hard to get the car ready for Melbourne and the season ahead,” Fitzpatrick said in a team release. “Our fans have given the team amazing support for many years and we want to restore Manor to the very best of racing in the future. I have a lifelong passion for Formula One and can’t wait for the season ahead, with Manor and the team.”
King added, “It’s a real pleasure for me to be involved in Manor. I know from the years I spent at Sainsbury’s that with the right people, the right values, and sheer hard work, you can turn any business around. In Graeme and Team Principal John Booth we have all three and I’m fully confident that we can help Manor be competitive at the highest level of racing.”
Team-wise, Graeme Lowdon (president and sporting director) and John Booth (team principal) remain in their respective roles.
“I want to thank all of the teams, the FIA, Formula One Management, our suppliers and staff and of course all of the fans for the support we’ve received over the past six months,” Lowdon said.
“It has been a challenging period for all of us but we’ve come through it and now we just want to go racing again. With formidable new business leadership in Stephen Fitzpatrick and the board presence of Justin King we are now in a great place ahead of the new season. This is a fantastic and very rewarding moment for all those involved with the team.”
The team will start with updated chassis that now comply to the 2015 regulations; a change in the nose is one of the bigger elements that has been updated year-on-year in the regulations. A full new design is planned for later in the year.
Englishman Will Stevens, 23, is the first confirmed driver. Stevens’ signing was announced last week.