F1 cost crisis

Williams keen to see Marussia back on the grid in 2015

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Claire Williams, the deputy team principal of Williams Martini Racing, has made clear that the team will do all it can to help Marussia F1 Team get back on its feet and return to Formula 1 in 2015.

Earlier this month, the F1 Strategy Group – of which Williams is a member – vetoed a possible comeback by Marussia using its 2014 car, with Force India giving the ‘no’ vote that meant unanimity was impossible.

However, the Marussia operation has made clear that it will continue to push for a place on the grid under the name ‘Manor F1 Team’, with team boss Graeme Lowdon believing that it would be in the best interests of the sport for the ex-Marussia operation to be racing this year.

Speaking to Sky Sports News in the UK, Claire Williams backed Lowdon, saying that her team would be doing everything in its power to help get Manor on the grid in 2015.

“We’ve been very clear on our position around Marussia and their entry,” she said. “We want a full competitive line-up on the grid next year and we will do anything to support Marussia coming back in.

“We made it very clear in the Strategy Group that we would vote for them to be able to use the 2014 chassis this season. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened, but Williams want a competitive line-up on the grid and we want to help the smaller teams.”

The cost crisis currently affecting Formula 1 has seen Caterham recently fold, and a further three teams are thought to be in financial difficulties. Despite her team enjoying relative stability, the problems involved were not lost on Williams.

“It’s hard work,” she admitted. “We are what I call a middle team, not a small team. We go racing based on the sponsorship budget that we can generate, coupled with the prize money that we get. It’s a hard fight.

“That’s why it’s important the cost control issues we’re trying to discuss at the moment are pushed through. It’s critical for the sustainability of our sport.”