Fitzpatrick: Brazilian GP result sealed Manor’s fate


Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick concedes that the two points Sauber scored in Brazil, which eclipsed Manor’s one for the 2017 season, sealed the team’s fate.

On Friday it was announced that Just Racing Services Ltd, Manor’s operating company, had been placed in administration after efforts to find a new investor failed.

A statement from Manor read: “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.

“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.”

Team owner Fitzpatrick, who purchased in early 2015, had been in talks with various parties including a group of Asian investors with Manor an attractive proposition due as they sat tenth in the championship by virtue of Pascal Wehrlein’s point-scoring result at the Austrian Grand Prix.

However, when Sauber scored two points in Brazil, the penultimate grand prix of the 2016 championship, Manor were relegated to 11th on the log which cost them vital prize money and sealed the team’s fate.

Fitzpatrick explained: “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, [but] unfortunately time ran out before they could complete the transaction.

“We resolved in 2015 not to start any season that we did not know for certain we could complete, so we have taken the difficult decision to put the team’s operating company into administration.

“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. 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.

“I look back on 2016 with pride in what Manor accomplished in what was the most successful year in the team’s history – I would like to thank the team for their constant hard work, determination and passion.

“We made a huge amount of progress on and off track, but ultimately it was not enough.”