“The unpopular reality of the situation.”

*sighs* I hate being that guy. I really do. The anti-hero that has to go against the status quo, but sometimes, the situation of being an F1 leaves me with no real alternative. People, I really think you got to let Marussia go here.

For those not in the know, Marussia’s group, Manor F1, tried to re-enter the 2015 F1 Championship, using their 2014 car, despite the regulation changes. It went to the F1 Strategy Group, and in a vote, Force India, voting first, veto’ed the proposal, and Manor had to go back to the drawing board in order to try and build a car that’s fitting of the 2015 regulations. The rest of the teams vote didn’t matter, only a unanimous decision lets a change pass in F1 these days.

Of course, Twitter being the court of public opinion that is these days, many F1 fans took time out of their busy schedule of slamming Bernie for everything they hold dear, to criticize Force India for their elements of hypocrisy and for essentially, making it even harder for Marussia to return for 2015. Especially when Team Principal, Robert Fernley said: “At the end of the day I have to make decisions with my head and not my heart, and I can’t shrink from decisions just because I’m worried about a popularity contest on Twitter.” and said Marussia’s bid “lacked substance.

So of course, everyone got heated. Me on the other hand… Not so much. And I think we as F1 fans owe it to ourselves to be a little bit more honest with ourselves here as to what we’re dealing with.

Marussia was in a pretty poor state of affairs at the time. In administration, workers laid off, and about to tell their assets to seal the deal, until all of a sudden, the prospect of their prize money from 2014 for finishing 9th in the Constructors Championship last year, meant they’re now on the brink of being able to exit administration and try and forge a comeback, if they can make the grid without missing more than three rounds. And obviously, post-veto, that task just became a heck of a lot more difficult, with the team working now around the clock to build a 2015-legal car.

I don’t blame Force India for what they did in this situation. It was a lose-lose scenario either way. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and ask yourself this: “What do you GAIN from letting Marussia compete?” All you’re doing is giving yourself more scenarios to potentially not score points and letting another competitor in. See Sauber last year when Esteban hit the wall and Jules scored that 9th. Awesome if you’re Marussia, freaking terrible if you’re Sauber, letting a rival score a freak pair of points. In this instance, competition is a bad thing, especially when you’re in the midfield. So why not make that job a little more difficult?

The problem with that, is the other side of the coin, and Force India being a team, that for the most part, has fought like hell FOR the little teams, considering where they were when they got started in F1, and their owner, Vijay Mallya, has been a constant advocate for smaller teams needing to be in the sport. So after having that stance, to kick Manor out of the club is pretty savage and at best, an eyebrow raising decision.

See, either way, Force India lose. Let them in,

you risk another competitor taking points off of you, kick them to the kerb, and you’re considered F1’s anti-christ for making arguably, the right call, even if you look terrible in the process. Not a great situation. If I was in their shoes, I’d have veto’ed too. You could get a slice of their money and its one less team to worry about. What do you gain from letting them race? Fan support? Fan support doesn’t pay the bills.

And looking at Marussia, they now have to build an entirely new car in about 3 months in order to make the Bahrain Grand Prix (Round 4 of the Championship, as you’re allowed to make 3 rounds). And it’s not like they were a competitive team to begin with. And with no Caterham around, their lack of pace is going to be a walking advertisement for inequality in F1 payment.

Marussia were already several seconds a lap off of being a true points contenders on a regular basis. Now they have to play catch up and are running a team already heavily in debt. In my opinion, there’s a very strong chance they’re going to be exposed as a team being lapped several times, and struggling to make the 107% rule. Ask yourself this, as an F1 fan, is this what you REALLY want to see here? A team constantly playing catch-up, purely for the sake of it, with next to no chance of real progression? Think, if you’re an investor, how MASSIVE a gamble it would be to try and save the team.

I seriously fear that Marussia will forever be chasing the bigger teams with more spending power, and with little revenue on the cards for being at the back for so long, they’ll eventually run out of money and collapse again. Then what do we all say?

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco
Don’t think this is an angry rant piece against Marussia. I’ve said time, and time again, that they should be applauded on their achievements in just 5 years in the sport, and they’re clearly a very well liked team for showing such great spirit but I think this sets a dangerous precedent, and it doesn’t make anybody look good having a team be so blatantly at the back. And the reason we give it a pass, is because here in the UK, we Brits love ourselves an underdog. We all loved Minardi back in the day for the same reasons, because they were plucky. This isn’t the same mind you.

And don’t think it’s a piece where I’m throwing Force India under the bus either. Rational choice theory, the concept of looking after #1, will always take precedent over the popular pick, and they were backed into a corner. What I’m saying here is, take a look a bigger picture, and realize what we’re dealing with, and why the F1 strategy group continues to be a flawed system that causes more problems than it solves, and the ripple effect of that affects teams, bosses, and us the fans.

As for Marussia, as much as I appreciate what they’re trying to do, it’s never a nice thing being the band that doesn’t know when to end the song.