Car count was a major topic at the weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne where 20 cars were entered. Only 15 took the grid, two more were eliminated after the first lap and two more were potentially at risk of being seized earlier in the weekend.
It’s the two Manor cars, however, that have FOM supremo Bernie Ecclestone furious and up in arms for their weekend of non-participation.
Neither car turned a single lap at Albert Park, but the team was cleared by the stewards of any wrongdoing to the legal letter of the regulations.
Ecclestone, meanwhile, took the opportunity to lash out at the team’s display to Reuters.
“We should have never ever, ever allowed Manor to do what they’ve done. It’s our fault. I predicted this would happen,” Ecclestone told Reuters.
He added, “They had no intention of racing in Australia. Zero. They couldn’t have raced if someone had gone there with a machine gun and put it to their head.”
Ecclestone confirmed the team will “have to pay to get out there and get out of there,” in reference to its participation at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Manor looked set to miss the 2015 season in total after its withdrawal from the final three Grands Prix of 2014, and went into administration in the offseason.
However, fresh investment emerged over the winter, the team exited administration and made it to Melbourne. Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi are set to drive when the cars do take to the track.