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Report: Marussia claims Manor used trademark infringement last year

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The saga over what’s in a name – the team now entered to the FIA for 2016 under the company name of Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited and with the team name of Manor Racing MRT – has cropped up again.

An Autosport report indicates Marussia – which is not a part of either the company or team name this year – claimed Manor Grand Prix Racing used the Marussia name for its team and chassis past a date it was allowed to, December 31, 2014, per a prior license agreement.

While the claim is in play, Manor has defended the right to use the Marussia word on five grounds.

A Manor spokesperson told Autosport in a statement that Marussia’s claims are “speculative.”

Last year, according to the official FIA website, the company name was still Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited, but the team name was Manor Marussia F1 Team and the chassis Marussia, with the MR03 chassis nomenclature.

Marussia went into administration at the end of 2014, and was saved by fresh investment in 2015, with the Manor name added to the team name portion of the entry.

After a falling out with primary investor Stephen Fitzpatrick, John Booth and Graeme Lowdon left the Manor F1 team only to launch the Manor WEC effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship this season, with two Oreca 05 Nissans.

On the bright side, at least there’s no Lotus/Caterham name or entity disagreement contained within this Manor/Marussia claim?

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).