In Australia, where the former Marussia team stayed in the pits all weekend, suspicions arose that Manor never even intended to exit the Albert Park pits.
“They couldn’t have raced if someone had gone there with a machine gun and put it to their head,” said a furious Bernie Ecclestone.
Like the FIA, F1’s chief executive suspected Manor travelled to Australia merely to satisfy its contractual obligations and collect millions in 2014 prize money.
Ecclestone has hit back by saying the team will be billed for its travel freight from the UK. And he has now told the Independent that Manor will be punished further.
“We will (also) deduct the race they missed from the prize money,” said Ecclestone, according to correspondents Christian Sylt and Luke Smith.
The FIA investigated Manor in Australia and found that the team in fact made “all reasonable endeavours” to run the cars. But the governing body will reportedly not be as understanding this weekend in Malaysia.
“If they (Manor) don’t get out of the garage in Malaysia,” the Telegraph newspaper reports, “the sport will come down on them hard.”
Auto Motor und Sport agreed: “No explanations or excuses will be tolerated for the Malaysian grand prix. The FIA has made clear that they want to see both cars on the track at the second race of the year.”