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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.



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Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
30.04.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
30.04.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
30.04.2017 - Race, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32 and Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
30.04.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
30.04.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
30.04.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
30.04.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
30.04.2017 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
30.04.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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mrfill

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.



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