Oct.25 (GMM) Marussia will join fellow F1 straggler Caterham in not racing in Austin next weekend, Bernie Ecclestone has announced.
The news follows the sport’s chief executive giving Caterham special dispensation to miss the US-Brazil double header as it enters administration.
But we had reported on Friday that the grid may in fact shrink from its usual 22 to just 18 cars in Austin, because Marussia – grief-stricken after the Jules Bianchi crash – was struggling to find a necessary cash injection to ship its cars and equipment from the UK for the trek to America.
“This is happening while the owner Andrey Cheglakov wants to sell,” Auto Motor und Sport’s Michael Schmidt had claimed.
Referring on Saturday not only to Caterham but also Marussia, Ecclestone was quoted by the BBC: “Neither of those two teams are going to go to America.”
With the grid dipping below 20 cars, the very real prospect of top teams having to field three-car teams has now emerged.
But reports indicate that with teams needing 60 days notice for the triggering of the third car provision, the FIA has ruled out the measure being introduced in the very short term.