Manor F1 team escapes Aus GP punishment
Besieged Formula One team Manor have been spared further punishment by governing body FIA after failing to contest Sunday’s season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.Manor arrived at Albert Park after recently coming out of administration.
However, software problems ensured neither Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi took part in the opener won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Under F1‘s sporting regulations, teams which enter the championship must show that they plan to “participate in every event with the number of cars and drivers entered”.
But the FIA decided there was no breach of rules after receiving written evidence from the stewards following discussions with senior Manor team members.
An FIA official said that because Manor had attended the event, brought equipment and staff with it and got its cars ready and through scrutineering: “it had done all that it could”.
A stewards’ statement said: “The stewards accepted that the team explained it had used all reasonable endeavours to ensure that its cars were able to compete in active competition, therefore the stewards take no further action during the event.”
Team principal John Booth said it was important they had made the trip and tried to get their cars ready for action.
He said the FIA told him they were satisfied the team had “used all reasonable endeavours” to be ready for Melbourne.
The Ferrari-powered Manor team missed the final three races of last year after going into administration and only finalised their driving line-up days before the season opening 2015 race.
Manor are hopeful of racing at either the next round in Malaysia in a fortnight or in China next month.
“I can understand people being cynical but if that was the case we wouldn’t have brought 30 tonnes of equipment, 40 people, fulfilled all of our contracts with all suppliers, whether it’s (tyre manufacturers) Pirelli, Ferrari, whoever, with our best endeavours to go round and round a circuit,” Booth said in response to critics claiming they had only made a token effort to race in Melbourne.