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Ignition off: Marussia F1 team shut down

2014-11-07 18:20

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 concern”.

"The joint administrators have now ceased trading the Marussia F1 Team and have had to make the remaining staff redundant," it added.


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 practice.

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.


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 outset.

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."


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 engine.

The previous weekend’s race in Austin went ahead after talk of a boycott by those three teams.

Read more on:    toto wolff  |  jules bianchi  |  brazil

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