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Marussia, Caterham in merger talks

There are no plans for F1 backmarkers Marussia and Caterham to join forces, despite having discussed the possibility over the winter.
Just a couple of days after speaking bullishly about hoping to challenge the F1 midfield this season, Marussia has been forced to concede that it considered merging with back-of-the-grid rival Caterham.

An article in the UK's Times newspaper quoted F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone as saying that the two minnows had considered the drastic move in a bid to ensure their survival into the 2013 season, citing the talks as a reason why Marussia had yet to sign its option on the new Concorde Agreement. However, while Marussia president Graeme Lowdon concedes that there were meetings to discuss the possibility of joining forces with Tony Fernandes' equipe, they came to nothing and are unlikely to be resurrected.

"I can confirm that discussions took place, [but] I wasn't involved in them and, as I understand it, the conclusion was unacceptable to our shareholders, so nothing happened," Lowdon told Sky Sports Online.

The best of the three teams to join the grid in 2010, Marussia and Caterham – which originally appeared as Virgin Racing and Lotus Racing – have fought it out to secure the estimated £10m in prize money for tenth place in the constructors' championship ever since, with the green-and-gold of Caterham coming out on top each time, albeit by the narrowest of margins last year. With HRT (nee Hispania Racing) having folded over the winter, the British-based pair are left to fight once again in 2013 where, ironically, Marussia appears to have the upper hand after the opening round in Australia last weekend.

Caterham has not commented on the merger rumour, but chief executive Riad Asmat has responded to separate suggestions that the team's interest in F1 may be waning by claiming that 'Caterham is staying this year, next year and for many more years'. Team owner Tony Fernandes has been spending more time with his other sporting interest, London-based Queens Park Rangers FC, in recent weeks, as the club attempts to escape relegation from the Premiership.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
18.11.2012 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
16.03.2013- Free Practice 3, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
16.03.2013- Qualifying, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02
17.03.2013- Race, Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR02 and Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
09.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Niki Lauda (AUT) Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman
09.07.2017- Mark Webber (Aut) and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
09.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Fabiana Flosi (BRA) his wife
07.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
07.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
07.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and his wife Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)

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Oldtimer - Unregistered

March 21, 2013 12:53 PM

as a qualifying race to get into the GP. Apparently Bernie did'nt like it and took to cancelling the teams entry and hotel bookings to discourage them from turning up. What a lovely bloke he is!

Oldtimer - Unregistered

March 21, 2013 12:51 PM

I can see little sense in that idea, neither of them are going anywhere except into bankruptcy and out of F1. Under the current rules and regulations new teams have no chance of moving up the grid. They were enticed in by a mandatory Cosworth engine deal and a promise of a budget cap, of course that did not happen and Cosworth are in the process of being sold so the future looks grim. F1 needs big manufacturers like Honda BMW and Toyota who have the sort of budget to do more that survive and as we have seen even that is not enough sometimes. The idea that small teams can come into F1 belongs to the dark ages. Some people are advocating the purchase of last years cars to encourage teams in, I don't believe that is a goer for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps F1 could become a two class series with all cars using the same rules but with the smaller teams in a sort of second class series run at the same time. In the seventies there were upwards of 40-50 cars entered for some races and there w

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