Manor F1 Team collapse after no buyer for found to fund team
Time has run out for Manor, who have folded as a result of a lack of funds. (Image Credit: Motorsport.com)

Manor F1 Team collapse after no buyer for found to fund team

The outfit, placed in administration earlier this month will fold, after takeover talks prove fruitless. 212 staff to be made redundant.

jake-nichol
Jake Nichol

Time has ran out in attempt to find a buyer for Formula One team ​Manor Racing​, with administrators taking the decision to fold the parent company of the team, Just Racing Services - JRSL. 

The Banbury based outfit will therefore close ahead of the 2017 campaign, having been in Formula One, in different guises since 2010.

Despite being placed in administration in early January, administrators FRP Advisory were in talks with potential buyers, rumoured to be an Asian consortium. However,  administrator Geoff Rowley and his team were not confident that the deal could go through, and therefore took the decision to fold the team.

In a statement, they said: "During recent months, senior management have worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long term future, but regrettably were unable to do so within the time available, and were left with no alternative but to place JRSL into administration.

"With no sustainable operational or finnancial structure in place to maintain the group, the joint administrators have now ceased trading JRSL and have had to send all 212 staff home from work."

The statement confirmed that all employees will be paid on Tuesday 31st January, but aside from a few key staff, the vast majority will be made redundant.

"Great name in British Motorsport"

"It is deeply regretable that the team has had to cease trading and close its doors", said Rowley, "Manor is a great name in British motorsport and the team has achieved a great deal over the past two years, invigorated under new owenership.

"We would like to thank all the staff for their support and professionalism during this difficult process." The statement confirmed that the administrators would also assist those staff made redundant in filing their claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.​

The new ownership Rowley is refering to, is that of Stephen Fitzpatrick, who bought the team ahead of the 2015 campaign, after Russian backer Andrey Cheglakov pulled funding after the 2014 Russian Grand Prix and left the team in a precarious position.  

After securing a Mercedes Power Unit for 2016, Pascal Wehrlein scored a point in the Austrian Grand Prix, which vaulted Manor into the crucial 10th place in the constructors'. However, in Brazil, Felipe Nasr finished ninth and hauled two points for Sauber, hauling them back ahead of Manor into 10th, with just one race left. According to Fitzpatrick, the result in Brazil is what effectivly finished the team, as they lost millions as a result of finishing 11th in the standings.

Many of the top drivers in Motorsport today have at some point raced for Manor in the junior careers, including Lewis Hamilton.

What do Liberty Media do now?

The new owners of Formula One now face their biggest, and arguably most important test. For years, the smaller, independent teams, such as Manor, Sauber, Williams, Force India and the now defunct Caterham have complained that the prize money structure is heavily biased toward the top manufacturer teams.

For example, in 2016 it was rumoured that Ferrari received a bonus bigger than Force India's entire budget for the season, simply because they are Ferrari - regardless of performance in the campaign.

In theory, the Sauber team could win every Grand Prix with a 1-2 finish for the next two seasons, and the Mercedes' take each other out at turn one for two straight seasons, but the latter would still recieve more prize money than the former.

Liberty Media, with its new management structure of Chase Carey, replacing Bernie Ecclestone, Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches, have suggested that they wish to reduce this gap and create a more equal prize money structure, one that is truly reflective of performance, along with an equal base share of the prize money.

Sauber came close to administration during 2016, but were saved at the last minute. Now it has happened to Manor. The response from Liberty will be key. Are they serious about reducing the gaping inequality or not? Time will tell.

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