End of the road for Manor?


Manor goes into administration leaving the prospect of the grid reducing to 10 teams again.

Having escaped going under at the end of 2014 along with Caterham, thanks to the intervention of Ove Energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick, Manor rose phoenix-like from the ashes and lived to fight another day.

Today however, at a time rival teams are already announcing their launch dates, having - for the most part - decided on their driver line-ups, Manor appeared to have reached the end of the road as it went into administration.

In fact, it is Just Racing Services Ltd (JRSL), the Banbury outfit's operating company, which has called in the administrators FRP Advisory LLP, not Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd, which holds the rights to participate in the world championship.

"The team has made significant progress since the start of 2015," said joint administrator Geoff Rowley, "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 news comes just hours after it was revealed that Silverstone owners the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) admitted that they may need to drop the British Grand Prix as it considers the cost of hosting the loss-making event to be a "potentially ruinous risk".

Indeed, the news comes at a time that Liberty Media, which is seeking to wrap-up its purchase of the sport in the coming months, is looking to introduce a budget cap in order to level the playing field and reduce the financial strain on teams.

Manor, albeit as Virgin, is one of three teams that entered F1 in 2010 enticed by just such a budget cap. With the cap subsequently brushed aside, the three teams were doomed to failure and Manor did well to get this far.

Although there is talk of finding a buyer, there are a couple of other better equipped teams that owners might be willing to offload, and having seen the demise of Caterham and Hispania there are few out there with the necessary money let alone the balls.

Perhaps the fact that the team had yet to name either of its drivers and that Mercedes is considering (Ferrari powered) Sauber for its protégé Pascal Wehrlein should have served as a warning to today's sad news.

Ironically, it was perhaps Sauber that landed the fatal blow, for following Wehrlein's tenth place finish in Austria it looked as though Manor would finish tenth in the standings ahead of Sauber. However, Felipe Nasr's ninth-place finish in Brazil demoted the British team to eleventh and out of the prize pot.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 06/01/2017
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