Manor Marussia set for Australia under new owner

Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:33pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King has been appointed interim chairman of the revived Manor Marussia Formula One team as they prepare for a remarkable comeback in Australia next week.

With OVO Energy founder Stephen Fitzpatrick coming to the rescue as principal investor, and effective owner, Marussia told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday that plans remained on course for them to have two cars racing in Melbourne.

Mandatory FIA crash tests have yet to be passed but are scheduled for this week, with the team confident the cars will make the freight deadline.

"We are ready to go racing," said team president and sporting director Graeme Lowdon, who will run Manor with principal John Booth just as they did the former Marussia outfit.

"The last few months have been a bit of a rollercoaster, to say the least," he added.

Fitzpatrick said King, seen by some as a possible successor to F1's 84-year-old commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, had declined an invitation to buy half the team but was involved in an advisory capacity.

King has been involved in motorsport for some time with his son Jordan competing in the GP2 feeder series this season.

Britain's Will Stevens will be one of the drivers, although his super licence has yet to be confirmed, with the second yet to be named.   Continued...

Sainsbury's Chief Executive Justin King speaks at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in central London, November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris