Stephen Fitzpatrick says loss of tenth place to Sauber sealed Manor's fate
Manor F1 team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick has said the loss of tenth place to Sauber in the championship standings sealed the team's fate, following confirmation on Friday that the team had entered into administration.
The Banbury-based team had spent much of the season in tenth following Pascal Wehrlein's point-scoring finish in Austria. However during the penultimate race of the season in Brazil, Sauber's Felipe Nasr snatched ninth place to score two points, pushing Manor down to 11th.
That position change cost the team upwards of £10 million in prize money and sealed their fate according to Fitzpatrick.
"Today's decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two year journey for Manor," he said on Friday.
]"When I took over the team in 2015, the challenge was clear; it was imperative that the team finish in 10th place or better in 2016. For much of the season we were on track. But the dramatic race in Brazil ended our hopes of this result and ultimately brought into doubt the team's ability to race in 2017.
"I look back on 2016 with pride in what Manor accomplished in what was the most successful year in the team's history – I would like to thank the team for their constant hard work, determination and passion.
"We made a huge amount of progress on and off track but ultimately it was not enough."
He added that things looked positive in December when investment was agreed with an Asian consortium, but that deal eventually fell through.
"Over much of the last year we have been in discussions with several investor groups, and had finally agreed terms of a sale to an Asian investment consortium in December.
"This would have provided the team with a strong platform for continued growth and development, [but] unfortunately time ran out before they could complete the transaction.
"We resolved in 2015 not to start any season that we did not know for certain we could complete, so we have taken the difficult decision to put the team's operating company into administration."