Formula 1 team Manor Racing decided to end the contract with one of its racers, Indonesian Rio Haryanto, on Wednesday. Manor Racing ended the contract because Rio could not fulfill his contractual obligations.
“Manor Racing today announced that it has taken the decision to terminate Rio Haryanto’s contract after he was unable to meet his contractual obligations,” Manor said in a release on its website.
But Manor has offered Rio a “reserve driver” role for the remaining nine rounds of the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, to “keep his Formula 1 dream alive.”
Racing director Dave Ryan said in the release: “Some time ago, his management indicated that they were experiencing difficulties honoring the obligations of that contract beyond the Hungarian Grand Prix."
From the €15 million listed in the contract with the British-based racing team, Rio has fulfilled only €7.5 million, with biggest backer being state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina, which gave €5 million. (evi)
Posted 12 August 2016 - 16:56
Posted 15 August 2016 - 14:57
A prominent sponsor will be missing from the livery of Manor's 2016 car once the summer break ends at Spa next weekend.
Even though Rio Haryanto's funding had dried up before the recent Hockenheim round, the branding of Indonesian state-owned oil company Pertamina remained on the Manor livery.
But Haryanto has now been replaced with the French Mercedes and Renault-backed rookie Esteban Ocon for the rest of the season.
And a Pertamina spokeswoman told the Jakarta Post newspaper: "The Manor Racing team has offered to let us continue advertising on its cars. However, we have decided to discontinue the advertising."
The report said Haryanto had only paid half of his promised EUR 15 million to Manor in 2016, with EUR 5 million provided by Pertamina, and the rest by his family.
An Indonesian sports ministry spokesman said: "The government thanks the Manor team, which had given an opportunity to Rio to participate in the 2016 season."
Posted 16 November 2016 - 15:57
A dark cloud has reportedly moved back over the future of the F1 backmarker Manor.
Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat claims there are rumours the team, which almost collapsed at the end of 2014, is now once again in danger of running out of steam.
Germany's Auto Bild is reportedly similarly, saying the financial situation means that if Manor wants to survive, it will almost certainly have to hire "two pay drivers" for 2017.
Reportedly, the big problem for Manor is having lost the lucrative tenth place in the constructors' world championship to Sauber, after Felipe Nasr's surprise ninth place in the wet Brazilian grand prix.
Tenth place is worth at least $15 million and perhaps much more, while eleventh gets nothing.
"This result is thanks to the whole team," Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn is quoted by Blick. "This is the reward for their great work."
But while it is Nasr who scored the sensational result for Sauber, it may actually have harmed rather than helped the Brazilian's chances of staying at the Swiss team.
That is because Manor may now need to chase the best funded drivers for 2017 rather than stick with Pascal Wehrlein, who is backed by Mercedes.
It is believed Esteban Gutierrez, Jordan King and Rio Haryanto are all offering more to Manor than Wehrlein and Mercedes can.
So if Wehrlein is on the move, Sauber might sign him -- to replace Nasr, whose Banco do Brasil sponsorship is in trouble.
Posted 16 November 2016 - 17:57
Why the Manor-Sauber fight is important
November 16, 2016 by Joe Saward
There is much interest in the battle for 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship between Sauber and Manor. It is a significant fight in that this year there are 11 teams in the World Championship – thanks to the arrival of Haas – and, next year, only the top 10 will benefit from the full prize fund. For the last few years, with only 10 teams, both Sauber and Manor/Marussia qualified for both funds (known as “Columns”) in the prize fund structure.
To briefly explain: there are two equal prize funds: Column 1, which pays out 10 equal sums to the top 10 teams. In order to qualify for Column 1 payments, a team must have been in the top 10 for two of the last three seasons. Thus if Manor or Sauber is 11th this year it will still qualify for Column 1 money in 2017, but if it is 11th again in 2017, it will not.
The separate Column 2 fund is divided up on the basis of the previous year’s result only, with the World Champion team getting 19 percent of the fund, the second 16 percent, the third 13 percent, the fourth 11 percent, the fifth 10 percent, the sixth nine percent, the seventh seven percent, the eighth six percent, the ninth five percent and the 10th four percent.
Each of the Columns is made up of 23.75% of the EBITDA of Formula One World Championship Ltd. If you do the sums, this means that 10th position in Column 2 is worth $11 million, which explains why the fight is so important. It is a question of the survival of the fittest, because if Haas is again in the top 10 in 2017 it will then become a Column 1 team and will be paid at least $27.5 million (although the figure will change depending on the EBITDA) while if the 11th team is again 11th it will lose this money, in addition to having lost $11 million this year. Surviving without prize money and travel benefits (which are also included for the top 10 teams) is a real struggle. Thus, the teams at the back are not fighting for money itself but rather to try to avoid losing large sums of it… One of them is definitely going to lose $11 million, but worse may be to come.
Posted 24 November 2016 - 15:48
I hear from various sources that Manor is in discussion with at least one potential buyer. This is no great surprise. Talks have been going on quietly for months with various potential owners. The team was 10th in the Constructors’ Championship thanks to Pascal Wehrlein’s 10th place in Austria, but 10 days ago in Brazil Sauber went ahead, as a result of Felipe Nasr’s ninth. There is still only one point between the teams, although Manor needs two to go ahead as Sauber has a much better count back of results outside the top 10. Is ninth place in Abu Dhabu doable? Who knows? A multi-car crash can stir the pot…
If that doesn’t happen, Manor needs to do something. The team stands to lose about $11 million in prize fund revenue in 2017. It could raise around $20 million next year from drivers and it still has around $27 million in remaining prize money, but that is not enough to do the job properly and the danger is that it could lose that $27 million at the end of 2017, which would make the business unsustainable. Team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick is in no position to fund the team himself, although he has loaned it money. His Ovo Energy company in the UK is involved in the highly competitive gas and electric market where prices are rising fast. It’s a tough market as he is up against what are known as the Big Six (British Gas, Npower, EDF, Scottish Power, SSE and E.ON). Ovo has just turned its first profits, but these were largely due to the sale of its metering unit business. Nonetheless, the company is growing, but not enough to allow any support for an F1 team. Time is also a problem and Fitzpatrick is rarely seen at races, leaving the team to be run by CEO Thomas Mayer and team principal Dave Ryan. Fitzpatrick would like to keep hold of the business because he believes that teams will have much higher value in the longer term, but finding sponsorship for a back-of-the-grid F1 team is tough and thus they must rely largely on prize money and driver-related fundin, unless there is a wealthy owner willing (and able) to cover losses.
Selling the team is thus the best option, although early discussions pre-Brazil valued the team too highly with Fitzpatrick wanting almost twice what the potential buyer was willing to offer. His demands will likely moderate now, as his primary goal is to avoid losing money. This will no doubt lead to some lively negotiation.
Posted 15 December 2016 - 16:03
The last couple of weeks have been a lively time for Manor Grand Prix Ltd. In Abu Dhabi, team boss Stephen Fitzpatrick said that “We have agreed terms with an investor at the moment and we are still working through that and I can’t really talk more about the specifics”. There is no doubt that the investor at that point was Mexican-American Tavo Hellmund, who was in a period of exclusive negotiation at that point. However, a few days later this ended and other potential bidders were told that they could re-enter the discussions, if they were willing to move quickly. There were at least two bidders that I heard about and perhaps others as well, although there was not much specific information. There has certainly not been any paperwork filed as yet with Companies House, with the team still being owned by Just Racing Ltd, which is a company that Fitzpatrick used to be the holding company. The key company in the story is Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd (6661964), which is the legal entity which signed the commercial agreement with the Formula One group. This continues to be owned, at the moment by Just Racing Ltd, and the ownership of this entity has yet to legal change, but there have been signs that things are changing, with the filing of a report from the person who was overseeing the post-administration settlement, bringing that process to a close. We expect an announcement shortly and it is thought likely that will involve former Manor F1 part-owner and CEO Graeme Lowdon. As to who is supporting the bid, we will have to see.
Posted 13 January 2017 - 17:12
Manor has just a single week to avoid collapse, according to sources close to the embattled F1 backmarker.
One week ago, the British outfit was placed into administration, after talks with a potential investor fell through.
The administrator, FRP Advisory, said there is only a "very limited window of opportunity" for a new rescue solution to be found.
Now, the Finnish broadcaster MTV claims that window will close in exactly one week, on Friday, 20 October.
"The 2017 car is said to be ready for production at the Banbury factory," the report added.
"But a source close to the team told us that a new investor must be found by 20 January. Otherwise, the fate of the Manor team will be sealed," MTV said.
Posted 17 January 2017 - 17:18
An offer to buy the Manor Formula 1 team has been made but the bidder requires an answer before Friday, Autosport has learned.
Just Racing Services Ltd, the company that operates Manor, went into administration last week after previous talks to find an investor broke down.
It is believed the administrators FRP Advisory LLP are talking to interested parties, one of which has made an offer.
Autosport understands the offer is for all three Manor companies - Just Racing Services Ltd, Just Racing Ltd and Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd.
Just Racing Ltd, the holding company of Manor, and Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd, the F1 and FOM licence holder, are not in administration.
The bidder believes that to ensure the cars can be built and tested on time ahead of the start of the season, a decision on the offer is required before January 20.
If that deadline lapses without confirmation, the bidder could make a revised offer but it is expected to be lower given the reduced time and increased costs required to get the team on the grid.
FRP Advisory LLP declined to comment when approached by Autosport and Manor team principal Stephen Fitzpatrick could not be reached.
The administrators of Just Racing Services Ltd have agreed to pay all staff salaries to the end of January, extending the window to save the team.
The 2017 car is ready to go into production, but parts cannot be produced as the administrators have put a block on spending to protect creditors.
The new season starts in Australia on March 26.
Posted 21 January 2017 - 17:33
Posted 25 January 2017 - 22:02
A critical moment for Manor
January 25, 2017 by Joe Saward
These are critical days for Manor. The team needs to make some progress if it is going to be on the grid this season, but it seems that talks over the ownership are stuck over the price that the current owner Stephen Fitzpatrick wants for the company. He has no intention of spending any more money on the team, but does not want to give it away. The reality is that he is facing one of two possibilities: a big loss, or a very big loss. If he holds out for too much and the buyers walk, he will have to take a bigger hit, but he doesn’t want to settle for less than he thinks the team is worth. Right now, it’s not worth much. It has around $27.5 million coming in prize money for 2016, but that will not be enough to run the team for the season and cash flow will be a problem. So a buyer must be willing to put in money up front in order to get the prize money.
The company in question is Just Racing Ltd, the holding company. This has two subsidiaries: Just Racing Services Ltd, which is the operational company; and Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd, which owns the F1 entry.
Just Racing Services Ltd is in administration with FRP Advisory trying to keep the business alive. The word is that there is a potential buyer out there, called GF Capital, which is reckoned to be an Indonesian investment company. There are, however, a lot of GF Capitals around in different countries. This entity, whoever it is, made an offer for the group late last week. This offer was rejected by Fitzpatrick as not being enough money. There is no obvious alternative plan so Fitzpatrick is walking a knife edge here because if the team is not sold it is worth nothing – so at some point he is going to need to make a decision about much he is going to lose. Perhaps if the price comes down further others will come into the bidding again, but by the time that all happens there will probably not be a whole let left at the Manor Technical Centre in Banbury.
The key requirement for the business to have value is for there to be cars for 2017. These were well-advanced until the end of November when Fitzpatrick stopped funding the team. The major structural parts of the 2017 chassis are already manufactured, but they have not yet assembled the monocoques because the money stopped before all the parts were made. However, the necessary work could be done in three weeks if the team gets the go-ahead and money.
The problem is that we are now getting into a period when logistical commitments need to be made for next season and no-one can make those commitments unless they know the future is secured. The option exists to modify two 2016 chassis for the first races of the year, which has been agreed with other teams, but there is no money to do that either.
The staff numbers are starting to dwindle as people give up hope and the word is that the team which used to have 210 people is now down to about 140, although many of them could return to work if a deal is struck and money arrives. The team is frustrated because they believe that with a Mercedes engine supply and an improved chassis, the team could be a midfield runner in 2017 – or could have been.
The administrators cannot do much until Fitzpatrick and the potential buyers sort out the ownership.
Obviously, if this is an Indonesian bid, the likely is that Rio Haryanto would be involved, but his sponsorship package is not as strong as it was, although in theory there is plenty of money in Indonesia.
Posted 27 January 2017 - 17:14
Manor definitivno prs'o. Steta.
Attempts to find a buyer to save the Manor Formula 1 team have failed and it will close ahead of the 2017 season.
Manor went into administration earlier this month after efforts to secure much-needed financial investment had failed to reach fruition.
With the first pre-season test looming at the end of February, administrator FRP Advisory knew it was in a race against time to find a buyer.
Despite interest from potential purchasers - believed to include an Asian consortium - discussions never got far enough for FRP to feel comfortable that the finances were there to save the outfit.
With progress having stalled, FRP Advisory took the decision on Friday to call time on its hopes of saving the team - informing staff that no buyer would be found and deciding that Manor's parent company Just Racing Services would cease trading.
A statement issued by FRP Advisory said: "During recent months, the senior management team have worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long-term future, but regrettably were unable to do so within the time available and were left with no alternative but to place JRSL into administration to protect the best interests of the underlying businesses and in order to continue a search for a buyer.
"Since their appointment earlier this month the joint administrators at FRP Advisory have continued to work, with the support of senior management, to try and secure new investment into the business resulting in negotiations with a number of interested parties. During that period funding was secured to ensure payment of all staff salaries until 31 January 2017.
"Regrettably since the appointment of administrators no investment has been secured in the limited time available to continue the group in its present form.
"With no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the group as a going concern, the joint administrators have now ceased trading JRSL and unfortunately have had to send all staff home from work today Friday 27 January.
"While all 212 staff have been paid up to Tuesday 31 January, all but a small handful of staff are expected be made redundant by the end of January."
Although the parent company of Manor - Just Racing Services - will cease trading, the company that holds the right to race in F1 - Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd - is not in administration.
FRP partner Geoff Rowley said he was saddened by the decision.
"It is deeply regrettable that the team has had cease trading and close its doors," he 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.
"Operating and running an F1 team to the high standards demanded however requires significant ongoing investment.
"We would like to thank all the staff for their support and professionalism during this difficult process."
Posted 27 January 2017 - 17:18
A wind tunnel model of Manor’s 2017 Formula One car has been posted on social media.
This image appeared after news broke that no buyer had been found for the team.
The model cannot be seen in full but appears to reflect the wider dimensions permitted by the 2017 regulations. Its front and rear wings, the latter with twisted supports similar to Ferrari’s 2017 test mule, are visibly different from those the team used last year. The rear wing is lower, in line with the new maximum height dimensions.
Posted 27 January 2017 - 19:51