Manor Marussia team to miss Australian GP

Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:57am EDT
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By Julian Linden

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The struggling Manor Marussia Formula One team will watch the season-opening Australian Grand Prix from their garages after failing to make it onto the Melbourne track for qualifying on Saturday.

The British-based team beat the odds in getting their cars to Albert Park but were unable to get them to run because of a computer software problem.

They sat out Friday and Saturday practice as well as qualifying, making them ineligible for Sunday's race.

"We have come such a long way in an incredibly short space of time, so to miss out on qualifying is of course very disappointing," said team principal John Booth.

"One always has to look at the silver lining in these situations and ours is that we have identified, worked through and ironed out a number of very challenging issues in the field and that experience will stand us in good stead as we move forward from here."

The Ferrari-powered team missed the final three races of last year after going into administration and brought a revised 2014 car, tweaked to meet 2015 safety regulations, to Melbourne.

They only finalised their driving lineup earlier this week, naming Spanish rookie Roberto Merhi to partner Britain's Will Stevens.

"It goes without saying that I’m disappointed that we ran out of time for qualifying," said Stevens. "Disappointed not just for me, but for the whole team, because the effort this week has been tremendous.   Continued...