Marussia F1 Team closes its doors, staff made redundant

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Marussia F1 Team has formally ceased trading and all 200 remaining staff have been made redundant, administrators have confirmed.

The Anglo-Russian team confirmed ahead of the United States Grand Prix that it had entered administration due to ongoing financial difficulties, and was looking for a new buyer to ensure that it could return to the grid for the final round of the year in Abu Dhabi.

Despite missing the races in Austin and Sao Paulo, the team still held hope of racing in Abu Dhabi as a number of possible buyers were mooted.

Earlier this week, Manor F1 Team – the holding company behind Marussia – appeared on the FIA’s entry list for the 2015 season, suggesting that there may have been a saving grace for the team and a real chance of making the grid in Australia next year.

However, the administrators in charge at Banbury today confirmed that the team had shut its doors.

“It goes without saying that it is deeply regrettable that a business with such a great following in British and world motorsport has had to cease trading and close its doors,” a statement from administrator FRP Advisory read.

“Whilst the team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.

“The group was put into administration last month following a shortfall in on-going funding and the administration process provided a moratorium to allow for attempts to secure a long term viable solution for the company within in a very limited timeframe.

“Sadly no solution could be achieved to allow for the business to continue in its current form. We would like to thank all the staff for their support during this difficult process.

“The team will not be participating in the two further rounds of the 2014 championship remaining, in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi.

“The joint administrators will continue with their statutory duties to realise the assets of the business in the best interests of all the creditors.”

After five years of racing, it is sad to see Marussia formally close its doors after a season that has seen the team meet both triumph and disaster. In Monaco, Jules Bianchi scored its first ever points after finishing in ninth place, taking it above both Caterham and Sauber in the constructors’ championship and putting the team on the cusp of a $40m windfall.

However, at the Japanese Grand Prix, Bianchi suffered a horrific accident that saw him receive severe head injuries. He currently remains in hospital in Japan fighting for his life.

Now, the team’s run in Formula 1 has come to an end, with some 200 staff being made redundant and left looking for a job ahead of the holiday period.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.