Marussia Formula 1 team closes on surprise return to grid for 2015

Marussia is edging closer to a surprise return to the Formula 1 grid - having paid its 2015 entry fee and revealed plans to exit administration later this month

Marussia Formula 1 team closes on surprise return to grid for 2015

With an auction of the team's final assets having been called off at the 11th hour in January, talks to find the investment needed to race in 2015 have been ongoing.

AUTOSPORT has learned that the discussions have advanced enough for Marussia's investors to fund its entry fee for racing in 2015 with the FIA.

Furthermore, administrators for the team said on Wednesday that a long term plan to rescue the outfit is progressing well enough for it to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement on February 19.

A statement issued by FRP Advisory said: "Since the appointment of administrators, negotiations have taken place with a number of parties to try and secure a long term solution for the team.

"We can confirm that negotiations continue towards a longer term viable solution for the business and participation of a team in the 2015 season.

"It is envisaged that, prior to the commencement of the first race of the 2015 season, investment into the business will be made upon the company exiting from administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement ('CVA'), which is planned for 19 February 2015.

"A CVA is a restructuring process agreed with the company's creditors which allows for a turnaround of the business and the creation of a longer term viable solution for the team."

VOTE ON 2014 CAR NOW ESSENTIAL

Although the funding of the entry fee and the move out of administration will be a big step forward, there remain huge hurdles ahead before Marussia can make it on to the grid.

The first will need to be overcome on Thursday, when F1's Strategy Group is set to discuss whether or not Marussia would be allowed to run a 2014 car this season.

It is now too late for the team to create a bespoke 2015 contender, but rivals have previously suggested that they would be willing to consider allowing the team dispensation to run last year's car if it helps it back into F1.

However, some of F1's smaller outfits may not be so willing to support the move because it could cost them a share of Marussia's commercial rights income that they would get if the team disappeared.

It is unclear who the investors are willing to fund Marussia's F1 return, but suggestions that McLaren could be behind it are believed to be wide of the mark.

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