The Manor Marussia F1 Team has confirmed the investor behind its revival is Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of UK energy company Ovo, along with details of its plans for the season ahead.
The team is set to make a comeback after it folded with three races remaining of the 2014 season, despite scoring its first points thanks to Jules Bianchi’s ninth place at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The team has confirmed that its modified 2014 chassis, which conforms to the 2015 regulations, is ready and will undergo crash tests on Thursday before being shipped to Melbourne on Friday.
Therefore there participation in the first race is almost guaranteed.
“Crash tests are ongoing – we block-booked some space at the laboratory to do the crash test this week, so I think the preparation day is today [Wednesday], and then tests will start,” explained sporting director Graeme Lowdon.
“There are only a very small number of tests to be done, a push off and an impact test. We will just have to see how those tests progress.
“The timescale to prepare the car has been incredibly short, but there is a bit of time capacity in there so hopefully things will go well this year.
“The car is being prepared in Dinnington, the overall car is on schedule and main freight dispatch is Friday and we will be sending bits right up until the last minute.”
The car that will race in Melbourne and likely the first half of the season is an interim car, confirmed the team. A new car is currently being designed and will debut later in the season.
Investor Fitzpatrick, who is believed to have invested £40 million in saving the team, is excited to see the name back on the grid as an F1 fan himself.
“We’ve all worked incredibly hard to get the car ready for Melbourne and the season ahead. Our fans have given the team amazing support for many years and we want to restore Manor to the very best of racing in the future,” he added. “I have a lifelong passion for F1 and can’t wait for the season ahead, with Manor and the team.”
Meanwhile it was also confirmed that former Sainsbury’s chief, Justin King, will be interim-Chairman, but isn’t believed to be an investor.
He added: “I know from the years I spent at Sainsbury’s that with the right people, the right values, and sheer hard work, you can turn any business around. In Graeme and team principal John Booth we have all three and I’m fully confident that we can help Manor be competitive at the highest level of racing.”