There is only one sensible explanation for someone to be coming in to rescue Marussia – and that is that the team would save the new owner money if they are in the process of building up a new F1 operation. Marussia’s debts are the problem, but if the administrator hives these off and leaves the team debt-free, then there is potential to use the assets and let the administrator use the money paid to settle whatever debts he can. It will still mean lots of people going unpaid but it will keep the team alive. If the entity keeps going, it has the right to a share of the F1 prize fund, worth about $70 million a year, and that will continue for at least two years, so the team is effectively worth $140 million in cash. If you are Gene Haas and you want to build up a race team without going through three years of waiting to earn prize money this is the obvious step, particularly if you are already planning to use the factory in question. You may get some people who know what they are doing as well, although the best MRussia folk have gone already, and you will get the cash. And let’s face it, if you can buy something for a fraction of its value and save yourself a heap of trouble, then you would do it, wouldn’t you? The administrator has to find the right price but if he can raise enough to pay at least some of the debts, then it is a deal worth doing. If he asks too much Haas will go back to Plan A and the creditors will get zip.
The bad news is that the money will not be going to the unsecured creditors, which is fundamentally wrong. Having said that, they need the work and so will probably be willing to deal with a new owner although I would not expect much credit to be on offer. The only problem would be changing the name of the car, but the sport needs Haas and it would be royally stupid for this to become a problem. These are not the times to play such silly games. Thus Haas could be up and running in F1 this year and F1 would have more chance to make an impression in the US, where the money is.