Auction cancellation raises fresh optimism over an 11th-hour rescue package.
Hopes that the Marussia Formula 1 team could continue to operate this season were raised when their administrators postponed an auction that included their F1 cars, spares and race equipment.
Latest reports suggest that a new investor has entered the equation, although their identity is as yet unknown. The team has not ruled out being on the grid in Melbourne in March.
Team principal John Booth told the BBC today that talks were “at a fairly advanced stage with a new investor - a credible investor”. He added that “postponing the auction gives us a bit more time to explore it.”
Motorsport.com reached out and got this statement in return: "A planned auction of the Company’s remaining assets due to commence on Wednesday 21 January 2015 has been halted to allow for discussions to continue with a third party. Given the confidential nature of the negotiations underway we are unable to provide further details.”
The auction, which was due to be held this Wednesday, was viewed as a nail in Marussia’s coffin. Although the team has an entry lodged for this year’s world championship under the Manor F1 banner, their race chassis and pit equipment were all due to go under the hammer.
Team president Graeme Lowdon told Sky Sports News on Friday: "There have been some auctions already but none of the equipment that has been sold so far is essential for the team to go forward."
He then added: "If that equipment went [on Wednesday] it would be difficult."
Whether the postponement means that an 11th-hour rescue package is about to be realised is unclear.
"It's certainly possible for the team to get there," said Lowdon of the team's 2015 chances. "It would be good news for F1 and for our fans certainly."
Marussia missed the last three races of the 2014 season after entering administration with tens of millions of dollars of debts.
Like Caterham it can be saved the team is expected to get dispensation from the FIA to use its 2014 cars, despite a rule change that affects the nose.