Force India opposed Marussia's bid to use old car

Fri Feb 6, 2015 5:53am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Marussia's hopes of rising from the dead to race in next month's Formula One season-opener in Australia have suffered a setback after rivals rejected a proposal to let them compete with last year's car.

"It needed all the teams to agree and there were three or four of them that didn't," Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said after a Strategy Group meeting.

"Maybe the other teams would have liked to use last year's car. The trouble was that you can't do these things for one team, you have got to do it for everybody," the 84-year-old told Friday's Independent newspaper.

The strategy group, which currently comprises champions Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Force India plus the governing FIA and commercial rights holders, met in Paris on Thursday.

The response to Marussia's request will do little to dispel the notion of the hugely expensive sport being a 'piranha club' whose members are primarily focused on their own interests.

However, Force India's deputy principal Bob Fernley, whose team joined Sauber and Lotus last year in calling for more help to struggling teams and a greater share of the revenues, described Marussia's application as 'speculative'.

"During the meeting it emerged that there were compliance issues and that the application lacked substance," he said.

Fernley said no details had been given about the potential new owners or how the team would be run and the application lacked supporting documentation to support Marussia's case for special dispensation.   Continued...

Marussia Formula One driver Max Chilton of Britain takes a corner during the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne in this file photo taken on March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed