Just ten teams could contest the 2017 F1 season as Manor is facing the threat of administration.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, who saved the team from collapse two years ago, is preparing to enlist FRP Advisory as administrators according to a report from Sky.
Manor enjoyed one of their most competitive showings last season as Pascal Wehrlein scored their second points since the team was founded as Virgin in 2010. However they dropped from tenth to last place in the constructors’ championship at the penultimate round, depriving them of a potential prize money windfall of several million pounds.
Fitzpatrick has been in discussion with potential investors since the middle of last season. Speaking ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix he admitted some frustration over the difficulty of competing in F1 due to the costs involved.
“One of the things I was quite clear on, right from the start, was that I accepted that in the current F1, money equals performance, so anything that was going to bring more funding to the team and help the team develop and progress I was very open and if that meant bringing another investor, even a majority investor, that was something I was happy to do.”
At the time Fitzpatrick said he had “agreed terms with an investor” but were “still working through that”. No further details of any investment have been forthcoming since then.
He also admitted that losing tenth place in the championship to Sauber had a bearing on the team’s negotiations. “It doesn’t help financially but the terms of our agreement have been refinalised, let’s say.”
“It was clear that in tenth place with one point on the board, two races left, that there are lots of scenarios and you plan for those in advance, so, from my point of view it’s disappointing but it’s not unexpected – or at least not a surprise.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year