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- Will Stevens announced as first race driver
- Car at advanced stage of build
25 February 2015, 12.30hrs GMT
The Manor Marussia F1 Team is making huge strides towards the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship season opener in Melbourne, Australia, in just over two weeksâ time.
The next exciting step for the team is to make the first of its driver line-up announcements, with the news that Will Stevens will be an official 2015 Manor race driver.
Will, 23, is known to the team from his brief time in the role of Marussia Reserve Driver towards the end of the 2014 season. He went on to race for Caterham in the season finale in Abu Dhabi and produced the impressive performance anticipated of a driver who has won races in every category in which he has competed, against some of the very best junior drivers.
A fundamental element of the Manor philosophy has always been to provide opportunity for the next generation of motor racing talent, a part of the teamâs long and proud history that will be retained into the future. Manor has started many young drivers out on the path to success, including Formula One world champions Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.
The approval by the Companyâs creditors on 19 February 2015 to a Company Voluntary Arrangement paves the way for the team to exit from administration and since that time everyone involved with Manor has been working flat out on the key components of its 2015 challenge.
The car with which Manor will begin the season is now in an advanced stage of build at the teamâs current race preparation facility in Dinnington, UK, where personnel are working 24-7 towards the air freight despatch date of 6 March.
As the sport counts down to the curtain-raising 2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix in 18 daysâ time, Manor is now in a position to be able to provide regular updates on its preparations for Melbourne and wider plans for the season, including the completion of its driver line-up.
Commenting on the announcement of his race seat today, Will Stevens said: âItâs very exciting to see everything coming together at Manor after the tremendous effort that has gone into saving the team. It would not have been possible without the incredible support we have received from all the suppliers and from within the sport, but most of all the fantastic team of people at Manor who are working around the clock to ensure we are ready for Melbourne. My thanks to the team for their confidence in me and I canât wait to see all the hard work rewarded when we line up on the grid in two weeksâ time.”
The parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, would like to provide the following update regarding Julesâ medical situation:
âAs we reach the conclusion of a difficult year for our family, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a further update regarding Julesâ medical situation, per our pledge to communicate continued information, when appropriate, to his many fans.
âIt was a significant and very comforting step for us to be able to bring Jules home to France last month, to continue his rehabilitation surrounded by his family and friends. This is very important for Jules and also for us.
âSince that time, Jules has received the very best treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU) and now at the CHUâs rehabilitation centre for this kind of trauma.
âJulesâ neurological status remains unchanged; he is unconscious but able to breathe unaided. Whilst there is no significant information to report, we take a great deal of comfort from the fact that Jules continues to fight, as we knew he would, and this has enabled the medical professionals caring for him to commence the planned, but very painstaking, programme of rehabilitation therapy.
âAs we reflect on the events of the past few months, we would like to acknowledge once again the overwhelming warmth and affection shown towards our son. These continue to be challenging times for our family, but the knowledge that he has touched the lives of so many people all around the world has helped us through.
âWe would also like to acknowledge the respect and support shown by the media towards our family during this time, for which we are extremely grateful.
âWe will continue to provide information when it is possible to do so and our sincere appreciation to everyone who continues to pray for Jules.â
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