Williams on Wednesday said it would welcome Marussia back to the F1 grid — even if the struggling backmarker has to field a 2014 car.
Marussia, now called Manor, is bidding to exit administration and rejoin the paddock this year.
But at last week’s strategy group meeting, rival Force India blocked the dispensation Manor needs to run its 2014 car under this year’s altered rules.
Another of the independent teams in F1 is Williams, whose deputy boss Claire Williams told British television Sky that the struggle to raise almost $100 million in private sponsorship each year to complement official prize money is “a hard fight”.
Sympathising with the struggling Manor, then, Williams said it would have voted for the team’s 2014-car plan.
“We want a full competitive lineup on the grid and we will do anything to support Marussia coming back in,” she said.
“We made it very clear in the strategy group that we would vote for them to be able to use the 2014 chassis this season.
“Unfortunately it hasn’t happened, but Williams want a competitive lineup on the grid and we want to help the smaller teams.
“And I think we’ve demonstrated that and are always pushing cost control in formula one,” Williams added. “That’s to save the smaller teams that are really struggling, the likes of Marussia and Caterham, but also the middle teams as well at the moment that are facing some serious issues.” (GMM)