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Marussia ceases trading as Caterham Launches Crowdfunding Plan
Posted By: Declan Quigley  |  07 Nov 2014   |  5:05 pm GMT  |  71 comments

While free practice was under way at the Brazilian Grand Prix, news filtered through from Oxfordshire that the Marussia F1 team has lost its bid for survival.

The team’s administrators, FRP Advisory made the announcement that Manor F1, operating as Marussia, had ceased trading with the loss of approximately 200 jobs.

The decision came after a 12pm GMT deadline set by FRP passed without the necessary funding  to continue appearing. Having missed the US and Brazilian Grand Prix race weekends, hopes were high until very recently that the Banbury-based team would reappear at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, especially as Graeme Lowdon was visibly present in the Austin paddock last weekend.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Russian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sochi, Russia

Administrators FRP Advisory said the team had “no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the Group as a going concern.

“The joint administrators have now ceased trading Marussia F1 Team and unfortunately have had to make the remaining staff redundant,” it added.

However, an entry has been lodged for the 2015 season by Manor F1. Frustratingly for all concerned Marisa was enjoying its most successful season having won two points in the constructor’s championship thanks to Jules Bianchi’s ninth place finish in Monaco.

Bianchi remains critically injured in a Japanese hospital following his accident at Suzuka last month but his Monaco performance means his team currently lies ninth in the constructor’s championship and potentially eligible for a significant increase in prize revenue for next season.

However, that was not enough to sustain the squad through to the end of the season as team investor Andrey Cheglakov stopped cash injections into the struggling team which was the only one of the three new teams which joined F1 in 2010 to score points.

FRP Advisory Joint Administrator Geoff Rowley had indicated that he was in discussion with a number of potential investors but no workable arrangement could be reached before the midday deadline today.

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Meanwhile fellow F1 strugglers Caterham have launched a £2.35 million crowd funding investment plan in a bid to make the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

A target of £2.35 million has been set by the deadline of November 14, with fans able to get involved using the hashtag #RefuelCaterhamF1.

Caterham’s administrator and interim team principal Finbarr O’Connell said:

“We are working non-stop to get the Caterham F1 Team back racing, initially in Abu Dhabi, but hopefully that will be just a stepping stone to get it back racing on a permanent basis, under new ownership. In order to achieve that one of our most useful, innovative and effective options right now is crowdfunding.

“We want to get as many sponsors and fans as possible involved this week and make our comeback something we can all be part of,” he added. “This team deserves a future and I’m sure that there are plenty of fans and companies out there that agree with us, so I can’t think of a better way to get us all together and show our support to the team than this one, the Caterham F1 Team #RefuelCaterhamF1 project.

“In order to make this happen, we’ve teamed-up with Crowdcube, the world’s leading crowdfunding platform, which has raised £45m for more than 150 organisations since 2011.

“If we don’t hit the target by next Friday, obviously the pledged funds will be returned, but right now we are hopeful for the future of the team and we are confident that the team showing the world that it can race again will lead to a bright future under a new owner on a proper financial footing.”

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F1’s economy mirrors the greater economy around it – no subsidy for the poor because that would be unfair, huge subsidies for the rich because they have the power to negotiate. It’s all very well to complain that the small teams can’t build a competitive car, but if F1 really wants 11 teams it seems it can’t have them without putting its hand in its pocket. Bernie needs to choke back the tears about throwing money away and throw some at new teams, otherwise Lotus and Sauber will be heading the same way in a few years time and F1 will lose its credibility as the pinnacle of all motorsport. You can only be the pinnacle of something you have any relationship to.


The really sad part of this, on first thoughts certainly, is that Marussia, having toiled for five seasons, have folded when they were on the cusp on their most successful season, with the invaluable prize money that would have come with it ($50bn).

However, I’m intrigued, not to say a bit baffled, that the team have folded so soon after entering administration. Also being a football fan it’s quite common to see clubs, in England at least, remain in administration for ages, rolling over deadlines almost indefinitely before finally someone comes along and either saves them or appears to save them while sowing the seeds for the next apocalypse a season or two down the line.

The fact that the deadline hasn’t been rolled over here seems to suggest that either the administrators have been very hasty, which is very sad indeed, or that the team genuinely didn’t have finances and, correspondingly, couldn’t have the resources in place to keep running even on a day-to-day basis at the factory. Which means we totally didn’t realise how bad their situation was,l even though we knew it was bad. In which case, if the existing owner Anton Cheglakov didn’t want to put any more money in at all, it’s difficult to see what else the administrators could have done.

Jules Bianchi’s 9th place at this year’s Monaco GP will mean that the team have a place in the history books as points scorers in the sport. But sadly, it looks like they won’t get a chance to build on that. Sympathies definitely lie with those made redundant and to those close to the team who have toiled so hard over the past five seasons.


It’s Andre not Anton. The writing was on the wall when his spots car company closed a few months ago. He no longer had a product to promote and potential investors have been courted for some time but Cheglakov wouldn’t sell until he had his 15 minutes of fame lording it with Putin in Sochi. By then it was too late to deal as administrators has already been instructed. The administrator has been quite critical of the sort of business F1 is and the weirdos and time wasters that it attracts.


Thanks for the insight Stevo (particularly about his sports car company), and apologies over the name! To be fair, his money must have been pretty useful when it came in but it’s always a risk if the individual then pulls the plug quite abruptly and leaves the team up the creek without a proverbial paddle, particularly if the selling process was hit with opacity and negotiation delays at crucial moments as you suggest.


Trouble is, that $50m isn’t a guarantee, as Sauber still have 2 opportunities to score a point. So even *if* the $50m was enough to make them a financially viable prospect, I doubt it’s something that an administrator would risk taking into account.


I’m not actually sure this is the case. I think to get the $50m they only need to finish 10th, which means their main competitor was Caterham (who also haven’t been attending races), rather than Sauber. They would have got a bit extra from coming 9th, but I’m not sure that would have been critical compared to the amount from coming 10th. Overall, though, you’re probably right that the assumption that the $50m would solve all their problems has proven to be quite big.


Sorry, $50m! $50bn would definitely have been an incentive to keep going – income equivalent to the GDP of a fairly small country (economically speaking)! I know F1 generates a lot of revenues, but I didn’t mean to suggest that they earned enough to pay those numbers to any team!


The demise of Marussia is a shock given the recent positive news we had heard about them going to Abu Dhabi and having an entry for next year. I cannot but wonder if ‘politics’ has any part in this since we have a government imposed trade embargo with Russia and I don’t suppose the Russians currently wish to see one of their entrepreneurs ploughing roubles into a UK enterprise even though Russia seems to be positive on F1 in the broader sense. The timescale for the ‘politics’ would seem to coincide with Marussia’s Russian owner reportedly ‘losing interest’. As for anyone wishing to buy the team, as far as the UK is concerned I doubt if money could be legally transferred to Russia at present even it the owner would have agreed a price.

Good luck to Caterham. The proposed ‘rescue’ is something of a long shot but we can live in hope.


A deal was done with new investors to buy the team and race in Abu Dhabi. What’s ridiculous is that a they could not provide the funds before the deadline.


If a majority of the races laid in Europe would the expenses be lower?


Yea but then is would be the European Driver’s Championship not the World Championship.


While the questions of crowd-funding and who-gets-which-prize-money are being bandied about, there is one financial issue no one seems to have brought up (at least that I could find.) Were I the promoters in the US, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, I would be checking the fine print of my contract with FOM. I signed up for 22 cars and only 18 are showing up (a decline of 18.2%.) Do I get a similar rebate on my race fee?


From what i have read it seems contracts are for 16 car minimum which is why saving the remaining struggling teams and/or 3 car teams are topical and likely why Bernie’s boss made an appearance in Austin (to avoid any breach in contract that a boycott would have created).


I’ve never seen a race promoter’s contract but I reckon Bernie would have covered off that one.


Silly question, James. If Marussia is now defunct, does poor Jules Bianchi lie in hospital without any form of insurance to help pay the bills?


No, the insurance is a separate contract between the driver and the underwriter. Nothing to do with the team. Its normally part of your licence fee, some motor sports do it differently but its not going to be part of the teams liabilities.


Bianchi, like all the drivers, will be carry a private insurance policy for just these circumstances – to provide coverage outside of their home country where they might have national health service benefits (or not) – and to supplement any national health service type coverage.


if it is covered by insurance, if a policy was in force at the time, it pays out. In fact if someone who worked for the team becomes ill in future as a result of exposure to something in 2010 the policy which was in force then is the one which pays out.

I feel bad for the folks losing their jobs : it does seem inevitable after ploughing such a barren field for so long that the teams would go under, Like losing Pacific and Simtek in the mid 1990s or Lola, Moda, Fondmetal, Forti, AGS, Dallara, or Coloni in the early 90s – if a team can’t be scoring points regularly there’s only so long it can hang on for.


The track has insurance for Bianchi as per FIA rules


He’s a Ferrari driver.


Bianchi is part of Ferrari’s young driver program, he was at Marussia on Ferrari’s say so and presumably they (or their insurers) are picking up the bill regarding his ongoing care.


“…but unfortunately if you are in the USA, at this time, you will not be able to invest.”

Really bad choice for a company to use for this. They’ve excluded anyone in the US.



Can’t Daddy Warbucks Chilton just pay to move Max over to Caterham so he can be a moving chicane in a different colored car?


Ha ha! Imagine this! Ericsson and chilton in the same team! Oh! What a stinker that would be. Those two could make a Merc look bad. They went mad about how chilton had finished 30 races or whatever and how great and consistent he was! Pwa! I scored as many points at home in my arm chair and didn’t spend 30 million! It would have been better for him to drive like a mad man, crash every other race and been a contender! Its not motorbikes! You can be rash in a F1 car and not end up in the medical centre. He had no pace and no wedding vegetables. “You can stop a man crashing but you can’t make him fast”


Be careful what you wish for and remember that Sauber, Lotus and Force India aren’t exactly rolling cash either.




Lol 🙂


Well that the administrator’s best plan for Caterham is to beg the very same members of the public who F1 has TOTALLY FORSAKEN in real economic terms to GIVE THEM MONEY is the height of absurdity.

It puts the lie to the suggestion that administrators know what they’re doing in all cases. Some amateur F1 commentator bloggers suggested the administrators in this case would not be able to operate effectively in the F1 business environment and this certainly reinforces that view.



What happens to Marussia’s point prize fund after shutting their doors? If Sauber finish the season without scoring any points will they take 9th position and the revenue for next season? What a mess!


terrible news for marrusia, I bet they’d raise more cash from their fans than caterham will


What a waste of time…


And money…


Crowdfunding? Bit of a joke I’m afraid…


That’s an optimistic number. The most successful crowd funind project so far has been Star Citizen at $55million and counting. Not even a season of F1 and I very much doubt Caterham will capture imaginations globally the way that did.


Good luck to them though.


I’d advise anyone with money to spend on getting Caterham to Abu Dhabi to ask themselves whether DEC’s Ebola appeal might be a better decision. That said, it’s your money – do what you want with it!

Talking crowd-funding, does anyone know whaty happened to those who invested in Justin WIlson’s career? I thought it was a surefire way to lose money, but he’s been racing Indy cars for a decade. Did anyone get a return?


I invested £500 in the Justin Wilson scheme. It was wound up after 10 years as planned. At the end of that time I had about £300 returned, plus a nice book. I didn’t do it as investment opportunity (though it would have been nice if it had paid off), I know Justin’s extended family and I thought I would be a unique and interesting thing to be involved in.


Thanks for that info. I think that’s a fair return, you needn’t feel too bruised, I did much worse with my Woolworths shares!

matthias broucek

Suppose one of the Caterhams does a Rupert Keegan/Senna thing at the first corner and we lose loads of cars? Remaining car trundles around and scores some points and Caterham overtakes Sauber!

You heard it here first….


What is a Senna thing? Ramming your opponent off the track?


Feel sorry for 200 personnel, don’t feel sorry for management who came into grand prix racing with lots of ambition, not much in the way of business strategy…………………..

Another team with seemingly unlimited dreams but limited finance has ended up in the category marked: “Ex Formula 1 teams………….”

Super Aguri, Hispania, Arrows, Prost……………… the New Millennium there have been chancers and dreamers exposed to the harsh financial reality of motor sport.

Still – Sauber are set to gain a windfall – potentially around UK £12 Million – they get the benefits of Marussia’s constructors cash I do believe…….


This has got to be one of the saddest day in Formula One.


Ha ha ha! Why? How long have you been watching? You know the sport is over 50 years old and scores of young men died in burning cars for the first 30 years? Every week involved someone dying, it was no different to the road racers of today at the TT and ulster GP. I really don’t think a few job losses and 2 slow cars missing can be compared to imola 94 or that awful accident with the marshal running across the track and getting hit. This used to be a terrible business. Thank god Sir Jackie came along, because without him it would not have changed and no way Mr E could have sold that to the world. It was carnage


For sure. It was brutal. But he did say “one” of saddest, and this one counts I think. We haven’t had issues with safety like in the past, which makes it Bianch incident a bit of a shock – even if we new someone would lose their life on the track eventually.


No, that was 3 weeks ago.


There wre much worse days. When Rindt died, Villeneuve died, Senna died. Need to say more?


I could understand Caterham folding now, but I am kind of mystified by Marussia folding now, as they had their 9th place money in the pipeline. Surely the cost of sending the cars to Abu Dhabi and trundling round for a few laps is less than the prize money they should get for finishing the season? Or do you only get prize money if you put in a bond for next year or something?


Maybe the jules accident is yet to play a part (or has already) and the whole speeding up under yellows. Also the money he brought is no longer there, the red cars were supplying engines to keep jules’ wheels turning, with him not there even Ferrari have now said enough is enough.


Cash flow is king, its similar to how kimi didnt get paid by lotus until prize money distributed, but I agree with that money on way (almost) you would think they would stll be here till atleast end year


Crowd-funding $3,500,000 for an insolvent F1 team’s appearance at one race so they can trundle-around in last place.

I am speechless.

Too bad about Manor GP, and all the guys and gals who worked so hard on it over the past few years.


Crowd Funding?

I haven’t even tried what a Red Bull tastes like and they want us to just give them money?

Why do they think we are? SUCKERS?


There is a contest idea in here somewhere James! But what should the Caterham contest be?


Lockster, not a bad idea.

I think that even if Lewis wins the WDC, Caterham should be on the cover of James’ annual…if they are successful in their real Garage Sale crowd funding effort.



Closest guess of how much they raise via crowd cube 🙂


Sad news, if not unespected, for Marussia and for the 200 workers who are now ‘redundant’. As for Caterham – their plan in order to be able to return for one last race is to find enough people who are prepared to put up 2.35 million pounds to watch them race uncompetitively for one last time? Good luck with that one.

So it looks as if we will have very small grids in 2015 unless the big teams are prepared to not only give up some of their share of the revenue to keep the other struggling teams alive for one more (or something close to one more) season AND pay to run a third car for no points.

Yes, Formula 1 is in great shape. Just to add to the gloomy picture, what will happen to marketing/TV audiences/live attendacne if the most popular (and likely most complete) driver in F1 decideds to take the year off? Since all members of the FOCA except Mercedes seem to be unrealistically suggesting that the pie needs to be made bigger, rather than redivided, I suspect things haven’t bottomed out yet!



That makes me feel very sad 🙁


I’ve pitched in a bit with the Caterham F1 crowd source effort. Not holding out much hope though.

For those too lazy to search for it, the direct url is:


1m passed. Too funny.

Ferrari should start one to pay for Alonso’s severance. Why not? They have enough old junk around the garage from his 5 WDCless years! NOT BITTER, FACT! 🙂


500k and Nose Cone is…GONE! Congrats to the buyer. Don’t poke your eye out with that giant….pointy thing.


Up to over 300k and still no one has bought that super attractive Caterham nose cone that looks like a…


Never gonna get past you. This is just to make you smile James. Maybe it will catch you off guard and make coffee shoot out your nose in the morning.


180k GBP raised. Fool and his money.

Reminds me of the kid who crowd sourced 10k for potato salad.

Come on Bernie! Pledge the 2M!

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