Stephen Fitzpatrick says that Sauber’s points finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix ended Manor’s hopes of being on the Formula 1 grid in 2017.
Manor entered administration this morning amid ongoing financial difficulties, confirming that FRP Advisory set to oversee proceedings with 212 jobs at risk.
Team owner Fitzpatrick bought Manor back in 2015 when the former grand prix project also entered administration, keeping the operation on the grid.
In an article on Manor’s website, Fitzpatrick explained the decision to enter administration, believing it to be the safest option to give the team a chance at some kind of future.
“Today’s decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two-year journey for Manor,” Fitzpatrick said.
“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.
“Unfortunately time ran out before they could complete the transaction. Not wishing to repeat events of the past, 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.”
Manor enjoyed what was arguably its strongest season to date in F1 last year, running 10th in the constructors’ championship for much of the year before Felipe Nasr’s charge to ninth place in Brazil lifted Sauber into the top 10.
The result cost Manor millions of dollars in prize money, dealing a blow that ended Manor’s hopes of survival, according to Fitzpatrick.
“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,” Fitzpatrick said.
“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.”