F1 »

Brazilian GP heartbreak sparked Manor downfall

Stephen Fitzpatrick admits that ninth place finish by Sauber's Felipe Nasr in the Brazilian GP has potentially cost Manor it's F1 future.
Manor Racing owner Stephen Fitzpatrick has admitted the team's failure to repel Sauber in the fight for tenth in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship constructors' standings has potentially cost it a future in the sport.

Six years after making its F1 debut under the Virgin Racing label, Manor enjoyed its strongest-ever season in the sport last season courtesy of its youthful driver line-up comprising Pascal Wehrlein, Rio Haryanto and Esteban Ocon, and its competitive Mercedes power units.

Culminating in a hard fought 10th place finish for Wehrlein in the Austrian Grand Prix – marking only the second time in its history that Manor had scored points – the minnow outfit was seemingly on course for a significant prize money reward provided it could retain its 10th place in the constructors' ahead of Sauber.

NEWS: Manor on the brink of collapse after slipping into administration

However, when Felipe Nasr claimed a ninth place result in the weather-affected Brazilian Grand Prix – the penultimate round of the season – to promote Sauber ahead of Manor to tenth, it cost the British outfit approximately £10 million in revenue.

Coming at a time when Fitzpatrick – who purchased the team ahead of the 2015 season – had been discussing terms with potential investors, the loss of tenth overall has seemingly dealt a fatal blow to talks.

"For much of the season we were on track," Fitzpatrick told the BBC. "But the dramatic race in Brazil ended our hopes of [finishing 10th] and ultimately brought into doubt the team's ability to race in 2017. We made a huge amount of progress on and off track but ultimately it was not enough."

Administrators have been called in to handle the affairs of Just Racing Services Ltd – owners of Manor Racing – but while the search for a new buyer goes on, it admits there is a limited window in which to save the team.

Somewhat ironically, having delivered the result that dealt the blow to the team,, Nasr was one of the drivers in the frame for one of Manor's yet-to-be-filled seats.

Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
2017 Race of Champions line-up in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Motorsport in 30 Seconds, 11th January 2017
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


January 06, 2017 5:22 PM

Ah, so its all Sauber's fault. I see. Nothing to do with MB removing their driver and presumably the cut price engines. If £10m is enough to send Manor to the dustbin, after all the benefits, then it was doomed. Last of the Great Hope teams who came in on the promise of a spending cap and then got stitched up when it was abandoned. Pallying up to MB is rather like dancing with the devil.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.