LAST GASP LAPS: Marussia's British driver Max Chilton driving in third free practice at the inaugural Russian F1 GP at the Sochi Autodrom on October 11, 2014. The team has now been shut down. Image: AFP - Yuri Kadobnov
• UK-based team has ceased trading
• About 200 staff made redundant
• ‘Really frustrating’ – Toto Wolff
SAO PAULO, Brazil – The UK-based
Marussia Formula 1 team reached the end of the road on Friday (Nov 7) with some
200 staff told the company had ceased trading and they were redundant.
Administrators FRP Advisory
announced the closure in a statement, saying the team had "no sustainable
operational or financial structure in place to maintain the group as a going
"The joint administrators have
now ceased trading the Marussia F1 Team and have had to make the remaining
staff redundant," it added.
'STAFF BELIEVED IN TEAM'
The staff, whose hopes might have
been raised by the team appearing on a provisional entry list for the 2015
championship earlier in the week, were told in a long and emotional meeting
just after midday on Friday.
The news broke in the Brazilian GP paddock
while the remaining nine teams were lapping the Interlagos circuit for first
Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff
told Reuters: "It makes me very sad because Marussia had a good group of
people, real racers, and they have gone through lots of drama.
“What is really frustrating is the
personal situation of some of the guys who were involved in the team, who
believed in the team."
The Ferrari-powered team, with the
smallest budget in the sport, went into administration in October 2014 and
missed the November 2 US F1 GP in Texas and this week's in Brazil. Fellow
struggling team Caterham is also under administration and seeking a buyer.
CHILTON BROUGHT MONEY
Both teams entered the cash-guzzling
world of F1 in 2010, encouraged by promises of a cost cap that never
materialised, and were perennial back-markers fighting the odds from the
Unlike Caterham, Marussia did manage
to score points, its first two coming in Monaco in May 2014 thanks to Frenchman
Jules Bianchi, the driver now fighting for his life in a Japanese hospital
after an horrific crash at Suzuka in October.
Britain's Max Chilton, who had
brought some money with him, was the team's other driver.
Joint administrator Geoff Rowley
said: "It is deeply regrettable that a business with such a great
following in British and world motorsport has had to cease trading. While the
team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation,
operating an F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.
"No solution could be achieved
to allow the business to continue in its current form."
STARTED OUT VIRGIN
Rowley said the joint administrators
would continue to realise the assets of the business "in the best
interests of all the creditors”.
Marussia started out as Virgin
Racing before being bought by Russian entrepreneur Andrei Cheglakov, the
majority shareholder who pumped considerable sums into the team before deciding
enough was enough. It last raced in the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in October
2014, but with only one car.
Sauber, Force India and Lotus have
since made loud protests about what they see as the unfair division of the
sport's revenues and soaring costs due to the introduction of a new V6 turbo-hybrid
The previous weekend’s race in Austin
went ahead after talk of a boycott by those three teams.