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Marussia to announce Ferrari deal in Canada (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Our European sources tell us to update this rumor to 'strong.'

05/29/13 (GMM)  A 2014 Ferrari engine deal for Marussia is expected to be announced on the sidelines of the Canadian grand prix next month.

The team was weighing up between the Italian marque and Mercedes, because current engine supplier Cosworth is not building a turbo V6 for the new rules.

"It is clear that the price will be an important factor," Marussia chief executive Andy Webb said this year, "because the cost will be significantly higher than the current engines."

It is believed that, of the three engine manufacturers in F1 next year, Renault's V6 will be the most expensive package, while Ferrari is the cheapest.

It is believed 2013 Marussia driver Jules Bianchi's connections with Ferrari also worked in favor of a deal with the Maranello outfit.

"Ferrari genuinely wants more teams," Marussia technical boss Pat Symonds admitted this month.

"I think they wanted another team anyway and the contact through Jules has done nothing but help."

05/27/13 Marussia has been supplied by Cosworth since their debut in the sport, as Virgin Racing, in 2010. Cosworth will not be producing a 2014-spec engine, which leaves Marussia out in the cold. Technical director Pat Symonds recently said “I don’t understand how Cosworth do what they do for the money, they do an absolutely fantastic job” and admitted that next year’s engines will be “a very, very significant fraction of our budget.”

The choice appears to be between Mercedes and Ferrari.

“Renault has made it clear they’ve got enough on their plate. Both Ferrari and Mercedes have been very positive with us.”

There is of course the link with Jules Bianchi…

“It absolutely hasn’t done us any harm; it’s brought us a little bit closer to Ferrari. 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.”

So Ferrari seems a logical choice for Marussia, particularly if the Prancing Horse loses Toro Rosso to Renault.

But here’s another suggestion.

How about a Marussia-Honda in 2014?

Honda’s return to Formula 1 with McLaren wasn’t a huge surprise and while McLaren and Honda will have a very close relationship, it isn’t exclusive.

“All engine suppliers coming in to F1 know they are doing so with the expectation that should they be required, they are prepared to supply more than one team,” McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told Autosport.

While Honda can develop their engines throughout 2014, benefit from any potential changes and undertake testing – although that would be with a two year old car and is currently not on the radar – surely it’ll be preferable to have a second team for development purposes?

Perhaps Marussia and Honda – under their ‘Mugen’ moniker – could thrash out a deal that would be effective for both parties, assuming Honda could fast-track development and get an engine ready for 2014. After all, it isn’t exactly as if Honda hasn’t been working on the V6 engine for a while. Marussia would have an engine supplier – presumably at a much cheaper rate than Mercedes or Ferrari – while Honda has a season of racing experience out of the spotlight before their proper return in 2015.

And, now that Force India and Mercedes are tied in together, McLaren’s primary technical partnership is with Marussia…

It’s pure speculation, but it makes sense. F1Zone.net

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