Max Chilton, Marussia, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Marussia confirmed to miss United States GP after entering administration

2014 F1 season

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Max Chilton, Marussia, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Marussia will not compete in this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, administrators representing the team have confirmed.

However the team will continue to operate while Geoff Rowley and Geoff Carton-Kelly, the team’s appointed administrators at FRP Advisory, assess the company’s viability.

The team’s staff, which number almost 200, have been in full up to the end of October and no redundancies have been made since Marussia went into administration, according to FRP.

“During recent months, the senior management team has worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long term future, but regrettably has been unable to do so within the time available,” said Rowley. “Therefore, they have been left with no alternative but to place the company into administration.”

“With the Marussia F1 Team now in administration, the joint administrators have assessed that, given the current financial circumstances of the group, it is not viable for the Marussia F1 Team to participate in the next race, the 2014 Formula One United States Grand Prix, due to take place this weekend in Austin, Texas,” he added.

“The company has ceased trading while the joint administrators assess the longer term viability of the company in its present form.

“Following Austin, there are two further rounds of the 2014 championship remaining, in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi, and the team’s participation in those races will depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity.”

Marussia is the second team to enter administration this year. Caterham have already been confirmed as missing the next two races.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “Marussia confirmed to miss United States GP after entering administration”

  1. It’s going from bad to worse for the smaller teams…

    1. Will they get their prize money for 2014 season?

      1. @jcost not if Bernie can help it

      2. @jcost Bernie said in a statement yesterday that they will receive their 2014 prize money reflective of their position in the championship, however, they’ll lose ‘participation money’ based on the two (or more) races they will miss.

      3. When did Bernie say that? Before administration or after. My understanding is that a team loses all rights, and even loses its F1 entrance if it goes into administration. Caterham (the F1 team) is not in administration so still has something worth selling, if someone is willing to pay the costs. Marussia no longer has an entry. Someone tell me if I’m wrong here.

  2. Absolutely gutting, after the success in Monaco, when one would hope that it was a glimmer of hope for the team.
    But more so this really symbolises how much disgust I have for how the sport is run. It is so unfair for a team which is having its best season and finally reached the ambition of points has had the hard work snatched away from them because of an unfair way of distributing prize money in previous years.

    1. I’m sure we all remember Jules crossing the line in 9th place back in Monaco. The fact that they jumped Caterham and Sauber will be one of the highlights this season. And even though they look to finish 9th in the standings, they may not be around to see that prize money. This is such a shame for the sport.

      1. I think they’re still eligible for the prize money, aren’t day? At least they did not miss more races than allowed.

        1. Yes, they are elegible for the prize money as long as they do not lose the licence (supposededly not missing more than 3 races) and sign up for next year (but that means paying the entry fee until November 1st) @jcost.

        2. Hm, not too sure anymore after reading up on things @jcost. Its well possible that by going into administration (i.e. being insolvent) all rigths under the concord agreement / contracts that replaced that are void.
          If that is the case, Marussia is not worth much. You would have to salvage both Caterham (for the entry as the company holding the licence was not put in administration, “only” the one actually building, servicing and running them) and Marussia (for the cars)

  3. This is another appalling development, but not one that was completely unexpected. I can imagine that all of Marussia’s creditors were nervously watching the events at Caterham unfold last week and reviewing their credit arrangements with Marussia.
    Undoubtedly this will increase the financial pressure on certain other teams for the same reason, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one or possibly even two more teams were forced from the field – not necessarily because they are not viable, but because their creditors tighten the credit arrangements too tightly in trying to protect their positions.

    1. Apparently even though they’re not swimming in money they are not working at a loss and are breaking even.

    2. maarten.f1 (@)
      27th October 2014, 13:06

      Probably not. They just signed a new engine deal with Mercedes; they wouldn’t have been able to do that if they hadn’t had the means to do so.

      1. Good point maarten-f1

  4. What is going on in F1?

    1. Bernie is bleeding it dry

    2. I hope the rumor of an Audi F1 project is true because the pinnacle of motor sports is not looking very attractive as of late. Bernie (though I want him to go) should have an aggressive plan aimed at attracting car manufacturers and corporate teams to the series.

      1. @jcost

        Bernie’s aggressive plan should be retirement.

        1. His biggest mistake was to sell the commercial rights to Private Equity companies, he should have kept the rights and try to get a proper successor.

          1. It wasn’t a mistake for Bernie, he locked in 2 1/2 billion for himself and left the teams to negotiate with an entity that had invested 2 1/2 bil. so were not going to be willing or able to negotiate better terms for the teams. Now that CVC have not only recouped their initial investment but made huge profits as well they may re-negotiate if the alternative is all/most F1 teams withdrawing but they would rather sell the business on the sharemarket and leave that risk to others.

      2. Audi have refuted the claims of them joining F1 as unsubstantiated rumour

        1. There have been rumours of AUDI F1 since I used to believe in Santa Claus. I have stopped believing in Santa Claus too.

  5. F1’s business model is crumbling. No team that has scored points in the current season should be in this position. They will get a decent sum of money at the end of the season – if anyone is sure exactly when the WCC-based payments are made, I’d like to know – and things really must be had if they couldn’t hold on until then.

    1. @estesark, from what I know the payments are made at the end of the season; before year-end.
      There is a problem though. With Marussia in administration (insolvent) their F1 contract is null and void. Thus they no longer participate in this year’s championship.
      Of course Bernie can give them an exemption. If he does so he will claim that he ‘gifted’ it to them, and he probably expects that we feel sorry and be in awe of him!

      1. Kevin McDonald
        27th October 2014, 16:00

        Payouts are actually made the end of the following season. So Marussia payment for the 2014 season won’t be made until November 2015.

        Likewise Mercedes won’t see their constructors reward until November next year.

        1. The Team wins and Bernie wins.
          The Team loses and Bernie wins.

  6. Journalist write articles on an almost weekly basis about F1 heading for some fiscal or commercial cliff, and generally crisis is averted and the status quo resumes, but if F1 looses all three ventures it admitted in 2010, then I can only confirm that we have indeed reached the ledge of a cliff. The cliff I refer to is a simple one, an unfair distribution of the well in excess of a billion dollars revenue F1 produces each year, and issue that has pushed Sauber, Lotus and perhaps even Force India to the financial edge, and sadly may be set to push Caterham and Marussia over it. It was crucial for F1 to prove that smaller ventures in the sport could be successful, and thanks to the disproportionate cut taken by CVC, FOM and of course Ferrari, F1 looks to have failed.

    The revenue that FOM enjoys derives from a sporting spectacle that the world subscribes to; would there even be a spectacle if we lost Lotus, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia? The point I am making is by proving that F1 can be commercially successful for even small ventures F1 can enjoy a larger grid and more sponsors: is that not a “win-win” scenario for all concerned?

    1. @william-brierty, well said!
      I am sure that if F1 was better run, it could be worth more for FOM/CVC, the teams, and the fans. A robust world leading sporting series with fair rules would attract more fans and sponsors, and everybody can win from the bigger pie.

      If only CVC would look at this more strategically, say thank you to Bernie and put a CEO in place who has a strong long term view. All the shady deals and bribing (charges) of Bernie should be enough for any respectable board to fire the guy.

      1. @coldfly – Exactly, if FOM can make a broader more accessible commercial platform, the sport will be worth more; it is as simple as that.

        1. That’s how Bernie got the teams to give up 50% of revenue in the first place, promising a much bigger Pie. Bernie and CVC are in the drivers seat and they would prefer 50% of 1bil. to 20% of 2bil.
          @william-brierty.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            28th October 2014, 8:43

            @hohum – The sad nature of affairs is that even if F1 is perfectly accessible and wide commercial platform, the volumes of sponsor can never be enough to counteract the greed at the top of our sport. Yes, Tamara and Petra are needy, but so are the millions of fans of the world’s greatest sport.

  7. The writing is on the wall when you have lesser pay drivers helping fund teams so they can operate.
    The whole current system stinks and finally we fans have proof. This is a sad day for Motorsport and it sucks for the U.S. race

  8. It surprises me that anyone would be shocked at this news.

    F1 is designed to be ultra competitive. A pure example of ‘survival of the fittest’. If you’re not good enough you become extinct. They had a good shot and they didn’t achieve what was needed in order to survive.

    This opens up an opportunity for someone else to have a go.

    Maybe 18 cars is the ‘natural’ number for the present climate in F1?

    Should economic situations change then this number will increase. But of course this could go the other way so that 18 cars (or 9 teams) becomes unsustainable.

    F1 is a highly capitalistic environment. To expect it to suddenly transform into some kind of paragon of socialism by supporting those that cannot support themselves is wishful thinking at best.

    1. Well, capitalism is ran by rules that are (ehm ehm) more-or-less fair. When you have diary companies in a country, they all compete on a fairly level field. But in the world of F1, one of them would be getting a government subsidy larger than the yearly turnover of the second one. So there is nothing natural or fair about it. Talking of playing by the rules, Formula 1 is guilty of a breach of contract with the three teams (no budget cup). It may not have been written explicitly in documents, but it was stated plainly enough and I belive there are many jurisdictions where it would be upheld as a valid promise.

      1. Yes, F1 is a business not a charity. It should never be a charity in any way whatsoever. Rich people messing around with incredibly expensive machinery to see who can be the best?

        It should only ever be a privately run business. Level playing field or not. If you’re not good enough/rich enough/well connected enough to participate you probably shouldn’t be there…

        This is all blown so out of proportion like there was some national crisis going on.

        The only reason anyone is batting an eyelid is because this is the team that became globally famous overnight for having a driver in hospital in critical condition. No one gave a monkey’s about them until Jules was injured…

      2. There is no breach of contract. The contract the new teams agreed to had conditions in it which allowed the contract to be changed. And also listed the ways how. There is no such thing as contract that is totally unchangeable. I don’t remember precisely how it went but I’d assume the contract had a clause in it which allows the contract to be changed based on voting. If enough people vote to change it then it will be changed. The new teams made the error that they believed the contract (if such ever existed) would not be changed. But it did. And if it was illegal in any way the new teams could sue and would have already.

    2. Well my friend, F1 has sporting pretentions. And the
      better balanced a sporting field is, the more interesting it is to would-be spectators. But spectators are turned off in millions by financial stitch-ups. And if that is what F1 presents to the world it is saying, in effect, ‘F1 is dirty, murky, dishonest and corrupt, by hey that’s all good for
      our business, so buy our massively overpriced tickets and enjoy !’

      Somehow, I don’t believe that fits the image F1 people would like the world to have of them, do you ?

    3. “This opens up an opportunity for someone else to have a go.”

      How so?

  9. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    27th October 2014, 12:10

    This ‘Sport’ is becoming a bigger sham week on week.

  10. I’ve watched F1 for 23 years. I have seen many many teams come and go. I have to say that this is the saddest I have ever felt on hearing of the collapse of an F1 team. Marussia are brilliant. Not only are they the only one of the 2010 entrants to score a point thanks to Jules Bianchi’s epic drive at Monaco, they are a proper racing team that operate largely unnoticed to a high and thoroughly professional standard. In this manufacturer and money dominated era I think it is easy to forget this. They 100% deserve to be on the grid.

    The F1 big wigs need to have a word with themselves. Bernie’s “begging bowl” comments show just how out of touch they are. The modern breed of backmarker team is nothing like Andrea Moda, Rial or Eurobrun, they are proper, professional, top rate F1 outfits. F1 needs small teams like Marussia and Caterham. They should be the place where young young talent (driver and engineering alike) is allowed to develop. Who is next, Sauber who have been in the sport for 20 years and who some of the most competitive drivers of the modern era have driven for? Or Lotus, who were world champions under another name just 10 years ago? Force India, who lest we forget have won races under another name? This is getting out of hand and it is totally unacceptable.

    The top teams, the FIA and FOM need to look past short sighted decisions which only serve their own short sighted ambitions and find a solution that fixes the sport for good, for all of the teams. If they don’t act fast we will end up with 5 or 6 teams each fielding 3 or 4 cars. After that? Most likely, no sport at all.

  11. This is so sad. I really liked this little team. All the effort over the last 5 years, to finally score their first points, and now this death blow.

    The finger of the blame points directly at Ecclestone and Mosley. Through their misdeeds, they’ve managed to wrestle F1 commercial rights away from FIA, and allowed Bernie to treat it as a cash cow.

    1. As much as I dislike Ecclestone, this one goes to Mosley, because the rights were not Bernie’s to give away. We have a saying in our language that translates roughly as follows: You’d have to be stupid to offer such a deal, but you’d have to be even more stupid not to take it. FIA should sue Mosley for not showing due diligence (I suspect bribery would not stick).

      When communism fell in our country, the sports organizations (olympic committee, track-and-field association etc.) were given a cash cow, the dominant betting company, to finance sports. The company was making billions of profit every year. It took ten years for bosses of the major organizations to run it down through avarice and bribery. Now the company is gone and they are begging government for money. If only we could have sports without sport bosses.

      1. The thing is, it was their plan. They both knew what they were doing. And you’re right. If Mosley made a deal that can’t be annulled on any point, then he should be prosecuted. I don’t understand how such a long-term, catastrophic decision could have gone unpunished.
        And as you say, there was money in it for both of them, but proving it will be a bit more difficult.

  12. Oh no! Not Marussia as well. I like Marussia a lot. I really hope they pull through. :(

  13. Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s throw away the engine ‘freeze’. Smaller teams will be so happy, and it will definitely help their financial condition.

  14. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    27th October 2014, 12:23

    Interesting that CVC doesn’t seem to care how this will ultimately undercut their own financial position. Less teams participating potentially leads to any of the following results:
    – Less interesting racing with fewer cars on track and fewer battles to follow
    – The loss of fans in the absence of “underdog” teams that would otherwise draw in considerable support
    – A further decline in F1’s reputability in the mainstream media that prevents it from drawing in new viewers
    – Possibly even backlash from existing fans.
    All of this could well escalate into diminished television ratings, fewer spectators on tracks, and ultimately, lower ad revenue all around. Everyone gets hurt.

  15. http://www.forbes.com/sites/csylt/2014/04/15/how-cvc-has-made-8-2-billion-from-formula-one-auto-racing/

    “CVC took a gamble when it bought F1 for $2 billion in 2006 in a leveraged buyout financed with two loans. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) provided $1.1 billion whilst a further $965.6 million came from CVC’s $7.3 billion investment Fund IV.”

    “F1 is now understood to be valued at around $12 billion and CVC has got $8.2 billion of cash out and remaining value. It gives the private equity firm a return of 751.3% which is one of the highest it has made since it was founded in 1981 as the venture capital division of financial services firm Citigroup. ”

    “Delta Topco’s revenue generally comes from four main sources. Starting at the bottom, trackside advertising at each race and sponsorship of the series itself comprises 15% of the revenue. This comes from companies such as parcel delivery service DHL and luxury watch maker Rolex which are two of F1’s official partners. Next up is revenue from corporate hospitality, freight fees and two F1 junior series which provide around 20% of the total. Fees from F1’s TV broadcasting contracts bring in 32% of its revenue and are second only to the money received from the 19 races on the calendar. Together, the race hosting fees comprise 33% of F1’s revenue and come to a total of $512 million.”

    “In fact, since CVC acquired F1 the teams have been paid a total of $3.7 billion in prize money which is nearly as much as the $4 billion that CVC has received from dividends and the sale of stakes in F1. “

    1. The full article is a good read if you missed it when it was published, goes some way to explaining F1 finances.

      1. And pretty much all the way to explaining team financial problems.

  16. Why is everyone blaming Ecclestone for this? The cost cutting measures which were proposed were blocked by the strategy group, which is comprised of six teams. If you want to blame anyone, blame the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull for not being able to see past their own self interests. They coudl easily have facilitated change which could have helped the likes of Marussia stay afloat, at least until the end of the season when their lucrative points would pay off. Instead they chose to preserve the spending race at the top of the sport, in order to cement their own dominant positions. This is what is really wrong at the core of F1 – the rules are made by a select group of teams who are all working for their own interests and not for the greater good of the sport as a whole.

    Of course, Caterham has been so poorly managed their fate was sealed years ago. No amount of cost cutting in F1 was going to make up for their dreadful management and chronic waste of money.

    1. Because there’s no need for cost cutting in F1. Sport is generating way more money than it needs to run sustainably. The problem is that half a money evaporates out of the sport and is never invested back in it, and the other half is distributed in a manner which harms the competitiveness of everyone who doesn’t finish in top 3 or 4.
      Teams are making big investments and should be rewarded. Bernie and CVC are simply a parasite which have almost finished with this host.

    2. Even worse, those “strategy” teams also blocked the budget limit that was supposed to be introduced to keep the (new) smaller teams in contention.

    3. But how many people would pay F1 prices to watch a cut price series ?

  17. Hearing that Force India could be next.

    They have not paid Mercedes for the engine supply & also owe money to some of there other suppliers.

  18. Not sure if anyone has mentioned it already, but I guess this means that Marussia had some kind of support from Ferrari due to them running Jules Bianchi. Let’s not forget that the “previous” parent company of Marussia F1, the russian manufacturer with same name already closed business earlier this year, which was no good news for the F1 team.
    They were seemingly OK but all of the sudden following Jules’ crash they go into administration, so seems that they lost additional funding, hence my suspicion that Ferrari was involved financially…

  19. would I be too cynical in suggesting that Peter Sauber is missing a trick?

    He could go to the evil dwarf and/or CVC and say”Unless you give me enough money to finish the season, I will pull my team out thus leaving only sixteen cars on the grid and you having to pay default fees to the circuits and organisers.”

    1. Only read this today, but I think the circuits etc. are promised at least 16 cars. So it would take 2 dropping out before we get to breach of contract levels.

  20. Caterham and marussia out of F1? Can’t say it bothers me at all. Those teams never belonged into F1 and their complete lack of any kind of respectable results speaks for themselves. From driver perspective those teams were never anything more than pure career suicide teams. I say F1 better off without them. At least we get 18 competitive cars on the grid instead of 18 competitive f1 cars and 4 slow gp2 cars.

    F1 financial model is definitely broken. But not because some underachieving backmarker team can’t make it work with shoestring budgets. If anything F1 looks better and professional without those moving roadblocks.

    I say good riddance to marussia, caterham. Won’t be missed. Too bad about all the people who worked there. Hopefully some of them get new jobs from haas or other teams.

    1. Isn’t Haas based in America?

      “From driver perspective those teams were never anything more than pure career suicide teams.”

      That’s what happens when the financial structure of F1 is so impossible for small teams that they are forced to take on less talented pay drivers. But I expect Ricciardo would disagree with you ;)

  21. This is sad.. but expected. F1, being the pinnacle of motorsport, also happens to have the highest barrier to entry. It’s just not a profit center and it becomes a question of how much you can afford to loose if you’d like to put a team on the grid.

    Shoestring budgets just can’t cut it.. and Bernie’s not making things easy for these smaller teams.

    The good thing is that F1 isn’t starved for fans, and ultimately if there are enough eyeballs present, money can be made.. so F1 will live on.. it’s just a matter of how things will look.

  22. Once again the US gets screwed over. First Indy 2005 and now this; seeing an 18 car grid is terrible publicity for F1. If you want to know why F1 hasn’t been so big here, there is the reason

    1. I suppose the right (wrong) kind of journalist(s) could make a big deal out of this but the reality is it will not affect the quality of the racing spectacle in the least. Only die-hard masochist fans of the missing teams/drivers will lose something and I doubt many of those live in the US.

  23. Liam Radford (@)
    27th October 2014, 18:24

    I say that F1 should just start again. Each of the teams should enter as new teams, each with the same budget and resources.

    1. But Bernie owns the name F1 so they would have to launch a series with a new dissimilar name and re-negotiate all the contracts involved, so basically that would mean virtually no income for the 1st. (or many) year(s), everybody would lose and all the independent teams would be liquidated.

  24. goodbye f1 may you rest in peace and emerge with more moralls nexttime

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