It was confirmed on Friday that the directors of manor Racing made the difficult decision to place the team's operating company, Just Racing Services Ltd, into administration, a decision which has devastated the British based squad.
The decision wasn't made lightly; in fact it comes after several months of discussions with investors in an effort to secure the best future for the team.
These discussions had recently progressed with a particular investor to the signing of heads of terms, but sadly the investor was unable to advance a final agreement in a timescale that would have avoided impacting upon the team's 2017 racing programme.
"Today's decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two year journey for Manor,” Stephen Fitzpatrick, owner of Manor Racing since January 2015, 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.”
"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. 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."
2016 SEASON PROGRESS
(Bahrain Grand Prix) 2014 2015 2016
Delta to pole 4.125s 6.142s 3.313s
Delta to fastest lap 4.805s 5.448s 0.966s
Highest position during race 17th 16th 7th
Cars behind at finish None None Sauber, Force India, Renault
As a similar barometer, in Austria Manor Racing qualified 19th ('14), 19th ('15), 12th ('16) and of course raced to P10 in ‘16.
5 times into Q2 (Austria, Spa, Italy, Mexico, Abu Dhabi)
No. of times Manor Racing out-qualified 1 Sauber car in 2016: 13
No. of times Manor Racing out-qualified both Sauber cars in 2016: 9
- WEH was 2nd best driver at gaining position on the first lap of every race having gained +35 positions in the first lap so far this season (an average of 1.94 per race). Only beaten by Alonso with +43 positions. Esteban was 5th on the list with +27 places gained (average of 3.38 per race)
Top of the speed traps 9 times in 2016 in Qualifying (using GPS data).
Only 3 retirements from 42 starts in 2016 due to technical problems
By the time the 2016 season came to a close, they were classified at the end of more races (32) than their main competitors Sauber (31), McLaren (31) and Haas (30)