Could Manor be in big trouble with Ecclestone?

The FIA’s investigation into Manor Marussia’s failure to participate in qualifying could have serious ramifications.

The regulations say that competitors must offer “an undertaking by the applicant to participate in every Event with the number of cars and drivers entered.”

There is a question as to the definition of participation. One view is that by turning up, passing scrutineering with legal cars and having two eligible drivers present the team has fulfilled its obligations.

The other is that in order to do so the team would have to send at least one car out of the garage under its own power at some point in the weekend.

The stewards will in effect have to decide what participation is and thus set a precedent.

If they deem that the team has not participated then there is a major issue to be addressed.

It’s often been assumed that teams can miss three races a year, but in fact that number applies to the contract with Bernie Ecclestone. The team missed the US, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi races at the end of last year, so this is the fourth in a row.

It’s understood that Ecclestone is not happy with the fact that Manor did not take to the track after presumably committing to participating in all the races as part of the process that led to the team getting a place on the entry list. That also led to the team getting a $10m payment as the first stage of its prize fund, and Bernie may now feel that the team has not kept up its side of the bargain.

It’s worth noting that Ecclestone told The Independent this week: “They can miss three races per contract so they would be history if they miss any more…”

This is a big decision for the stewards to make, so they may yet refer it to a higher authority.

8 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

8 responses to “Could Manor be in big trouble with Ecclestone?

  1. petes

    Ahhh. These are the problems that arise with the Secret Squirrel type operation that Bernie specialises in.
    Likely that even if you are a participant in those secret matters it is only when things go tits up that you really get to find out what his secret handshake really meant.
    Put simply – you’re stuffed. He makes up the rules as he goes along…..

    • petes

      Will have been in Charlie’s ear directing proceedings, “get the stewards on to it”. Hope the stewards take it upstairs, but, even, who or what can be the ‘higher authority’ referred to that is not under direct influence?
      The bottom line is, after stringing them along, reneging on their 2014 earnings.
      Way to go……

  2. TR4

    Seems all a bit counter-productive to me. If they get in “serious” trouble, then don’t we have to assume they’ll fold. In which case there are a max of 18 cars at all the other races too.

    How does that help?

  3. Mick

    I think in the interests of the sport (don’t we all want a team to succeed?) I’d issue a suspended sentence. If they can’t get out at the start of the next practice in 2 weeks time, then i’d judge that this weekend has all been a ruse to try & pull the wool over our eyes. If they can run then maybe they were trying hard this weekend too.

  4. John Other

    I don’t think this is a great time for Bernie to be getting sporting rules opened for interpretation.

    This does however have hints of control issues in the sport. Who then regulates F1 if Bernie can stick his oar in?

    With some of the most repeated comments in the recent Victoria court action being calls for the FIA to show up and explain themselves, there’s room for questions to become less than academic in plausible future. Whether that is just what suits Bernie’s ends is impossible to tell.

    I believe the FIA do not effectively control F1 at present and there’s just smoke and mirrors around the subject.

  5. John Other

    I also worry what is the significance of this software problem. I’m very aware how much running software affects drivability, but as to not firing it up……

  6. The only sentence anyone should be contemplating is the tasking of a killer drone against Ecclestone to accomplish what Father Time seems unwilling/unable to do.

  7. Insider

    Perhaps Ferrari should have put some effort into readying the PUs for Manor then…. working on the basis that there was no chance of them turning up in a condition to run then acting surprised and confused when they did is not the fault of Manor. Those two cars missing from the grid was entirely down to Ferrari.

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