Formula 1’s debt-ridden Manor Racing go into administration

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London (AP) — The operating company of Manor Racing was placed in administration on Friday, putting in major doubt the British-based Formula One team’s participation this year.

Manor, which finished 11th and last in the constructors’ championship last season, has been seeking new investors, and administrator FRP Advisory said there was “a limited window of opportunity” for new owners before preseason testing and the first race in Melbourne on March 26.

Geoff Rowley, a joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory, said, “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 Just Racing Services Limited into administration.”

Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd, the sister company of JRSL, which has the rights for the team’s participation in F1, was not in administration, which is designed to protect insolvent companies from their creditors.

FRP said no redundancies have been made following JRSL’s entering into administration, and all 212 staff were paid in full to the end of December.

In this Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 file photo, Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein of Germany steers his car during the qualifying session for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
In this Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 file photo, Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein of Germany steers his car during the qualifying session for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Manor, formerly known as Marussia, which went into administration in late 2014, was in discussions with investor groups throughout last year, and agreed on terms of a sale to an Asian investment consortium in December, only for the deal to fall through.

German driver Pascal Wehrlein secured the team’s only point last year with a 10th-place finish in Austria. But in the the penultimate race in Brazil, Manor was overtaken by Sauber in the standings following Felipe Nasr’s ninth-place finish, a result that was reported to have cost Manor some $30 million in prize money.

Stephen Fitzpatrick