Manor folds after failing to find new buyer

Esteban Ocon Manor Racing (Getty Images)
Esteban Ocon Manor Racing (Getty Images)

London - The Manor Formula One team has folded after failing to find a buyer in time for the new season.

The British-based team was placed into financial administration three weeks ago in a frantic bid to find new investors ahead of preseason testing.

Manor's withdrawal leaves 10 teams on the grid heading into the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 26.

"Regrettably since the appointment of administrators, no investment has been secured in the limited time available," administrator FRP said in a statement.

"With no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the group as a going concern, the joint administrators have now ceased trading."

Formerly known as Marussia, Manor had been in financial trouble since late 2014 but managed to find a buyer in time for the 2015 season. Racing with Mercedes engines, Manor finished in last place last season, missing out on 10th place and a much-needed cash windfall by one point.

In the penultimate race in Brazil, Manor was overtaken by Sauber in the standings following Felipe Nasr's ninth-place finish, a result that cost Manor heavily in prize money.

"It is deeply regrettable that the team has had to cease trading and close its doors," FRP partner Geoff Rowley said.

"Manor is a great name in British motorsport and the team has achieved a great deal over the past two years, invigorated under new ownership."

Rowley added that some 200 staff members were being made redundant.

Manor drivers Pascal Wehrlein of Germany and Esteban Ocon of France have already found new teams. Wehrlein joined Sauber and Ocon went to Force India to team up with Sergio Perez.

"Very sad to hear the news about Manor Racing today, wishing all the best to all the great and talented people that worked so hard there," Ocon tweeted.

The news came just days after U.S. sports and entertainment firm Liberty Media completed its takeover of F1, and replaced Bernie Ecclestone as chief executive.

Teams and driver line-ups for the 2017 Formula One season after Manor went out of business on Friday:

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) and Valtteri Bottas (FIN)

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) and Max Verstappen (NED)

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel (GER) and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)

Toro Rosso: Carlos Sainz (ESP) and Daniil Kvyat (RUS)

McLaren: Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL)

Williams: Felipe Massa (FIN) and Lance Stroll (CAN)

Force India: Sergio Perez (MEX) and Esteban Ocon (FRA)

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg (GER) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR)

Haas: Romain Grosjean (FRA) and Kevin Magnussen (DEN)

Sauber: Marcus Ericsson (SWE) and Pascal Wehrlein (GER)

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