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.
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.
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.”