Fitzpatrick: Manor hit by Brazil GP result
6 January 2017 – Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick says that the future of his team was severely jeopardised when rival Sauber scored points at the Brazilian Grand Prix to snatch 10th in the standings.
It was announced on Friday, in the wake of media speculation, that Manor's operating company, Just Racing Services Ltd, has gone into administration, following failed investment talks.
Manor has claimed that it signed heads-of-terms with a group of Asian investors, though a final agreement could not be reached in time to avoid its 2017 programme being impacted.
Manor held 10th for much of 2016, after Pascal Wehrlein's point in Austria, but Felipe Nasr's ninth-place finish in Brazil secured the spot for Sauber, which Fitzpatrick has recognised.
"Today's decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two year journey for Manor," commented Fitzpatrick, who has been at the helm since early 2015.
"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, [but] unfortunately time ran out before they could complete the transaction.
"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."