Formula One: Manor team goes out of business

Administrators appointed this month announced they had failed to find any new investors and as a result had no option but to call time on the process.

Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein shown during qualifying for the 2016 Singapore Formula One Grand Prix. Yong Teck Lim / AP file
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The Manor Formula One team’s troubled history came to an end on Friday as its operating company Just Racing Services Limited (JRSL) ceased trading.

Administrators appointed this month announced they had failed to find any new investors and as a result had no option but to call time on the process.

The 212-strong workforce have been sent home and will be made redundant next Tuesday after their salaries for January have been paid.

It leaves just 10 teams to line-up for the Australian Grand Prix – the opening race of the season – on March 26.

“Since their appointment earlier this month the joint administrators at FRP Advisory have continued to work, with the support of senior management, to try and secure new investment into the business resulting in negotiations with a number of interested parties.

“During that period funding was secured to ensure payment of all staff salaries until 31 January 2017.

“Regrettably since the appointment of administrators no investment has been secured in the limited time available to continue the Group in its present form.

“With no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the Group as a going concern, the joint administrators have now ceased trading JRSL.

“Note that Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd, the sister company of JRSL, which has the rights for the team’s participation in F1, is not in administration.”

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator, said it was a shame that great efforts by the team over the past few years had ended in such a manner.

“It is deeply regrettable that the team has had to cease trading and close its doors,” he said.

“Manor is a great name in British Motorsport and the team has achieved a great deal over the past two years, invigorated under new ownership.”

Manor finished 11th and last in last season’s constructors’ championship and had been in talks with new investors.

Manor previously went into administration between the 2014 and 2015 seasons after collapsing with debts of £35 million (Dh161.2 million).

Then known as Marussia, the team was bought by Stephen Fitzpatrick, owner of energy company Ovo, and rebranded as Manor just in time for the 2015 season.

The end of Bernie Ecclestone’s four-decade reign of Formula One when US-based Liberty Media completed on Monday its takeover of motorsport’s most prestigious brand in a deal valued at about $8 billion has raised hopes that fresh hands can revive the sport cut costs and encourage new investors to launch teams.

“You have to make sure it is a sustainable business because there is a team about to disappear and there are other teams close to disappearing,” Martin Whitmarsh, former Chief Executive of McLaren, told AFP.

“That spooks the herd and doesn’t encourage investors to come in.”

* Agence France-Presse

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