Manor’s administrators have been unable to find a buyer for the F1 team’s operating company Just Racing Services, effectively ending the team.
Just Racing Services had fallen into administration at the start of January but held strong hopes on finding a new owner, however, it has been confirmed a new buyer has failed to materialise and will now be closed after ceasing trading on Friday [27th January].
As a result, it also marks the close of the Manor F1 team with team staff sent home and set to be formally made redundant after being paid their salaries at the end of January.
Last week reports emerged that prospects of a new buyer had improved hugely, despite the identity of the new investor remaining unconfirmed, which enabled administrators to stretch its deadline for a new buyer until 27th January. However, the new buyer has now withdrawn which leaves the company to fold.
Administrators FRP have stated “no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the group as a group concern” which led to no solution being found for the company’s future.
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Manor, which started life in F1 as Virgin Racing in 2010, was rescued from administration in 2015 by an 11th hour takeover by owner Stephen Fitzpatrick.
At the start of January, Fitzpatrick had revealed at the time of the administration announcement that Manor was in talks with several investors for the 2017 season up to the end of last year. However, the loss of 10th in the constructors’ standings with just one round remaining – costing it an approximate £10 million in prize money – scuppered negotiations.
A buyer could still potentially be found to rescue the team but it is thought the time lost and revenues required mean Manor would ultimately miss preparation deadlines for the 2017 season.