Formula One team Marussia shut down, staff laid off

Formula One team Marussia shut down, staff laid off

Marussia F1 team reached the end of the road on Friday with some 200 staff told the company had ceased trading and they were being made redundant.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: November 7, 2014, 10:55 PM IST
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The British-based Marussia Formula One team reached the end of the road on Friday with some 200 staff told the company had ceased trading and they were being made 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 Marussia F1 Team and unfortunately 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 Grand Prix paddock while the remaining nine teams were lapping the Interlagos circuit in first practice.

"It makes me very sad because Marussia had a good group of people, real racers and they have gone through lots of dramas," Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff told Reuters.

"For me 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 last month and missed last weekend's U.S. Grand Prix in Texas and this week's in Brazil. Fellow strugglers Caterham are also in administration and seeking a buyer.

Both teams entered the cash-guzzling world of Formula One in 2010, encouraged by promises of a cost cap that never materialised, and were perennial back-markers fighting against the odds from the outset.

Unlike Caterham, Marussia did manage to score points with their first two coming in Monaco in May thanks to Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who is 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.

"It goes without saying that it is deeply regrettable that a business with such a great following in British and world motorsport has had to cease trading and close its doors," said joint administrator Geoff Rowley.

"Whilst the team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, operating an F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.

"Sadly no solution could be achieved to allow for 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.

Their last race was the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi last month, when they ran 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.

Last weekend's race in Austin went ahead after talk of a possible boycott by those three teams.

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