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Marussia & Caterham held merger talks

Formula One's remaining newbie teams held merger talks during the winter it has been revealed.

Since three newbie teams joined Formula One in 2010, the teams have struggled to compete with the more established teams in the sport.

All three went through various identity changes, with Lotus becoming Caterham, Virgin Racing becoming Marussia and Hispania becoming HRT before falling into financial meltdown and going into liquidation.

But as well as losing HRT from the grid, Formula One could have lost another team over the winter as Marussia and Caterham held talks over a potential merger.

The two teams have both struggled to close the gap to the mid-field runners and neither have won their first Formula One Championship point to-date. With competition for sponsorship money and prize money continuing to be difficult to improve the financial situation for both teams talks were held during the close season.

Caterham won tenth place in the Formula One constructors championship during the final race of last season, a result which cost Marussia around £10million which equates to a third of their budget.

'I can confirm that discussions took place. I wasn't involved in them and as I understand it, the conclusion was unacceptable to our shareholders. So nothing happened.' Marussia President Graeme Lowdon told Sky Sports.

But while that seems to be the end of the story, with Caterham refusing to discuss the matter, only to confirm that they would not be withdrawing from the sport, the news does give an interesting insight into the difficulties the back-runner teams are currently having to just exist in Formula One.

Marussia are yet to sign a commercial deal with Bernie Ecclestone for this season, with the Formula One supremo for once appearing to be out of the loop.

'I have everything prepared here for them to sign [commercial deal]. It is not a problem. But they have not been happy and they almost merged with Caterham, so that made me wondering what was happening,' he told The Times newspaper.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 21 2013

Time: 12:00PM

 

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