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Marussia F1 team now independent from car company

Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of France brakes as he takes a corner during the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International C
Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of France brakes as he takes a corner during the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International C

LONDON (Reuters) - The Marussia Formula One team is no longer owned by Marussia Motors and the closure of the Russian sportscar maker will have no effect on its operations, the British-based outfit said on Wednesday.

The RIA Novosti news agency reported that Marussia Motors, who took a majority stake in what was the Virgin Racing team in late 2010, had shut down with staff leaving to join a government-run technical institute.

"The news is unfortunate for those concerned and we wish its employees well for the future," said a spokeswoman for the team. "The supercar project was ambitious but it is disappointing that it was unable to get to market."

The Ferrari-powered team was now controlled by Marussia Communications Ltd, she added, but gave no further details.

Marussia Motors had presented prototypes of two supercars it intended to produce but plans for production stalled before they hit the showrooms.

"There is no impact whatsoever on the Formula One team's operation," the spokeswoman said. "There is no link between the two companies financially or technically. The F1 team has been an independent operation for some time.

"The F1 team has had a positive start to the 2014 season and looks forward to continued success in the pursuit of its racing ambitions."

Russian-licensed Marussia have yet to score a point in more than four seasons. They are currently 10th of the 11 teams.

Britain's Max Chilton and France's Jules Bianchi are their drivers this season, with Chilton finishing 13th in Bahrain at the weekend.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien)

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