The company that runs the Manor Racing Formula 1 team has gone into administration, it was announced today.
The British team, which nearly collapsed during the off-season of 2014-2015, missed out on around $15m in prize money when Sauber pipped it to tenth place in the 2016 constructors’ championship.
It is understood that staff attended a meeting at the squad’s factory in Banbury this morning where they were told that the Just Racing Services Ltd company that operates Manor had been placed into administration. FRP Advisory, which was involved in the team’s administration when it was known as Marussia, has also issued a statement confirming the state of play. If new funding cannot be found in short order then the team will not be in Melbourne for the season opening race and the F1 grid will feature just 20 cars.
We wrote a post in December highlighting concerns around Manor’s sustainability.
Manor Grand Prix Racing, the entity that owns the team’s rights to enter F1 and which goes back to the John Booth era, is not in administration.
The team’s owner, Ovo energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick said at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November that the former Virgin Racing and Marussia squad had “agreed terms with an investor”, but no progress on a takeover has been made and, as we outlined here, Manor now faces a race against time to find new investment if it is to make the 2017 season opener in Australia.
In a statement, FRP administrator Geoff Rowley said: “The team has made significant progress under its new ownership since the start of 2015, the highlight of which included securing a constructors’ championship point in the preceding F1 season, but the position remains that operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.
“During recent months, the senior management team has worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long term future, but regrettably has been unable to do so within the time available.
“Therefore, they have been left with no alternative but to place JRSL into administration. The joint administrators are currently assessing options for the Group.
“The team’s participation will depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity.
“No redundancies have been made following JRSL’s entering into administration and all staff have been paid in full to the end of December.
“The ongoing staff position will however be dependent on whether new investment can be secured in the limited time available and the joint administrators will continue to review the ongoing financial position.”
Manor finished 11th in the 2016 constructors’ championship after Sauber driver Felipe Nasr finished ninth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, a result that pushed the Swiss squad above its rival, which had scored one point at the Austrian Grand Prix thanks to Pascal Wehrlein’s tenth place finish.
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