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Marussia close to 2014 engine deal

ESPN Staff
May 1, 2013 « Brawn warns against radical change at Mercedes | FIA set to solve electronic issues »
Jules Bianchi's arrival has brought Marussia closer to Ferrari © Sutton Images

Marussia is closing in on an engine deal for 2014 with Jules Bianchi's arrival earlier this season bringing the team closer to Ferrari.

Marussia currently runs Cosworth engines but the British supplier is not expected to stay in the sport when the new 1.6-litre turbo engines replace the current V8s next season. Only Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have confirmed they will stay in Formula One under the new regulations, but with Renault already supplying four teams and in talks with Toro Rosso for 2014, Marussia has approached Ferrari and Mercedes.

"Renault have made it clear they've got enough on their plate," Marussia technical director Pat Symonds told Sky Sports. "Both Ferrari and Mercedes have been very positive with us. I say it's near, because if it's not then we're not going to have a car. My original target for getting a 2014 engine deal was the end of May ... but it was the end of May 2012. So we are behind where we want to be."

Marussia race driver Jules Bianchi is a member of Ferrari's driver academy and Symonds says that has helped the relationship with the Italian manufacturer, which could be left supplying just two teams - Ferrari and Sauber (although a Sauber deal hasn't been confirmed) - if Toro Rosso confirms it is going with Renault.

"It absolutely hasn't done us any harm, it's brought us a little bit closer to Ferrari," he added. "But Ferrari genuinely wants more teams: because everything is so new, I hesitate to call us guinea pigs or anything like that, but it's better to have a few more samples of your product out there, finding out what goes wrong and what's working. I think that they wanted another team anyway and the contact through Jules has done nothing but help."