The founder of the revived Manor Marussia F1 Team has revealed that the company would not have been able to get back on its feet and return to Formula 1 in 2015 without Jules Bianchi’s ninth-place finish at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Bianchi produced one of the stand-out performances of the 2014 season at Monaco, finishing ninth and scoring what proved to be the only two points that Marussia F1 Team would ever accrue.
However, the Frenchman’s season was tragically cut short when he suffered severe head injuries in an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in September. Although he has since returned to his native France, he remains unconscious, with the latest update from the Bianchi family coming in December.
The two points in Monaco were enough to secure Marussia ninth place in the constructors’ championship despite the team missing the final three races of the season after falling into administration.
Speaking to French publication Auto Hebdo, team founder John Booth revealed that it was this result that convinced the new investors to help save Marussia and establish Manor.
“Without him, without the two points he scored in Monaco last year, we would not be here,” Booth explained. “In the end, that is what convinced the new investors of the potential of the team.
“Being here is our way of saying to Jules that the race is not over until the checkered flag has fallen. We emerged from the worst ordeal Manor has ever known, and I have no doubt that Jules will succeed too.
“What we were able to rebuild during the winter shows that faith can move mountains. There is always hope as long as we believe in it.”
Manor failed to qualify for last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix as it continued to make up for the time lost over the winter in preparing its new cars and team. However, thanks to Bianchi’s efforts, the team has fought back and lived on, making his herculean achievement all the more impressive and poignant.