Just Racing Services Ltd, the company that operates the Manor Formula 1 team, has entered into administration and cast doubt over its future ahead of the 2017 season.
There has been speculation over the past couple of days that the future of the team was looking bleak, as staff were called to a meeting to be informed that a bid to secure an investor had failed.
“The decision comes after several months of discussions with investors in an effort to secure the best future for the team: discussions that had recently progressed with a particular investor to the signing of heads of terms,” A statement from Manor read.
“Unfortunately, the investor was unable to advance a final agreement in a timescale that would have avoided impacting upon the team’s 2017 racing programme and the directors have had no alternative but to place the team in administration.”
Near the end of the 2016 season, negotiations between Manor and American investors led by race promoter Tavo Hellmund took place and were seemingly close to a deal, but it’s understood that the discussions dissolved.
After talks with other potential investors also failing, it looks inevitable that Manor will be put into administration unless a last-minute deal can be made.
Manor’s owner Stephen Fitzpatrick says the fate of his team was sealed when Felipe Nasr scored Sauber’s first points of the season in the penultimate race of 2016 in Brazil.
Manor had occupied 10th place since the Austrian Grand Prix thanks to a point scored by Pascal Wehrlein, but Nasr’s ninth place finish allowed Sauber to leapfrog the Banbury-based outfit and secure 10th position in the constructors’ championship.
“When I took over the team in 2015, the challenge was clear; it was imperative that the team finish in 10th place or better in 2016,” Fitzpatrick said.
“For much of the season we were on track. But the dramatic race in Brazil ended our hopes of this result and ultimately brought into doubt the team’s ability to race in 2017.”
“Today’s decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two-year journey for Manor.
“Over much of the last year we have been in discussions with several investor groups, and had finally agreed terms of a sale to an Asian investment consortium in December.
“This would have provided the team with a strong platform for continued growth and development. Unfortunately time ran out before they could complete the transaction.”
A statement released from Manor stated that the recent investment deal they were pursuing never eventuated because an agreement wasn’t possible to be sorted in time to not have an impact on their 2017 plans.
Image via LAT