End of the road looms for the F1 team born in Yorkshire

Marussia, the Formula 1 team formed out of a factory in Rotherham, have gone into administration.

Marussia are in financial trouble.
Marussia are in financial trouble.

They became the second team in a matter of days to bow to spiralling costs in Formula 1 and now face a race against time to be saved.

Like Caterham, who called in the administrators last Friday, Marussia have been withdrawn from this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Texas, and could also miss the penultimate race of the season in Brazil.

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Oxfordshire-based Marussia are around £30m in debt and the money from Russian benefactor Andrei Cheglakov is reported to have dried up.

The team’s origins can be traced to a two-building base in Dinnington, where current team principal John Booth devised a plan in 2009 to join the elite tier of motor racing. Enticed in because of the promise of a £40m budget cap that never materialised, Booth’s team were known first as Virgin Racing before Russian motorsport’s manufacturer Marussia took over for the start of their second season in 2011.

F1’s costs over the past four years have soared, notably for the current campaign with the introduction of the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power units. They have been part of the FIA’s push for a greener, more efficient formula, but in turn it has edged the smaller marques close to extinction.

London-based restructuring and recovery firm FRP Advisory have taken on the role of administrator for the company known as Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited and trading as Marussia F1 Team. Administrator Geoff Rowley said: “Whilst the team has made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, the highlight of which included securing two constructors’ championship points in the current F1 season (Monaco), operating an F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.

“With the existing shareholder unable to provide the required level of funding, the senior management team has worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long-term future, but, regrettably, has been unable to do so within the time available.

“No redundancies have been made following the company entering into administration and all staff (around 190) have been paid in full to the end of October.

“The ongoing staff position will, however, be dependent on whether the company can secure new investment in the limited time available.”

Ironically, Marussia are due a £40m bonus next season for finishing ninth in this year’s constructors’ championship.