F1 backmarker Manor enters bankruptcy protection

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Formula One team Manor Racing, formerly Marussia, on Friday entered bankruptcy protection, with FRP Advisory hired to oversee the process. The decision comes after several months of discussions with investors in an effort to secure funding for the 2017 season. However, with the team scoring just one point in 2016 it’s not hard to see why investors are holding back.

Team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said talks had been underway regarding a sale to an Asian investment group but a deal couldn’t be ironed out in time for proper preparations for the new season, whose first race, the Australian Grand Prix, takes place in March.

Manor Racing was formed in 2010 but soon changed its name to that of main sponsor Virgin. The Virgin deal ended in 2012 when Russian sports car brand Marussia bought a controlling a stake and used its own name for the team. With the demise of the Marussia sports car brand in 2014, the Marussia F1 team soon fell into disarray. It was at this point Fitzpatrick bought the team, eventually reviving the Manor name a year later.

“Today’s decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two-year journey for Manor,” Fitzpatrick said. “Unfortunately time ran out before [the investors] could complete the transaction.”

Manor, which is based in Banbury, England, currently employs 212 staff. Their future is dependent on whether the team can secure a new investor. The team’s drivers in 2016 were Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon and Rio Haryanto.

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