Marussia has closed, administrators confirm

2014 F1 season

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The Marussia team has ceased trading, the administrator running the outfit has confirmed.

With no one having come forward with a rescue package to take over the ailing team, Marussia’s closure will lead to the loss of around 200 jobs.

The official entry list for the 2015 Formula One season issued by the FIA earlier this year included an entry for the team under the name Manor F1, but as yet there is no indication they will be able to take advantage of it.

“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 FRP administrator Geoff Rowley.

“Whilst the team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment. The group was put into administration last month following a shortfall in on-going funding and the administration process provided a moratorium to allow for attempts to secure a long term viable solution for the company within in a very limited time-frame. Sadly no solution could be achieved to allow for the business to continue in its current form. We would like to thank all the staff for their support during this difficult process.

“As joint administrators our immediate focus will be to assist staff who have lost their jobs and provide them with the necessary support to submit timely claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

“The team will not be participating in the two further rounds of the 2014 championship remaining, in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi. The joint administrators will continue with their statutory duties to realise the assets of the business in the best interests of all the creditors.”

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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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75 comments on “Marussia has closed, administrators confirm”

  1. That’s it… and with Caterham seeking crow funding to make it to Abu Dhabi, that’s it for them too…

    So much effort to get points and actually get prize money… now there’s a 30 million pound prize ready in line and no one will be picking it up.

    And the consequences. Sauber’s now losing to a non-existant team… they’ll be the last of the lot next year, and they are already not looking that good. Prize money will be low compared to previous seasons and it just won’t work out for them…

    1. bbc reports that the prize money will be reallocated to Sauber

      1. @jb784 really? well, “it’s somethin'”

        1. I think that’s from Marussia forfeiting, from not existing before the last race of the season. FOM 1 – 0 the teams. 9 teams left.. I can almost hear 3rd cars powering up, which is tough to do with the new engines!

      2. Does this move Caterham into the top 10? 10th position with no points.

        1. Once they miss Abu Dhabi they will be removed from the championship so everyone behind them will move up a place. Though given that it’s quite likely Caterham will have folded as well, they’re likely to drop out of the championship too (hence the crowd funding desperation – dropping out means not getting any championship money at all, and the end of the team basically).

          In all likelihood it’ll be Sauber finishing last in the championship, with Marrussia and Caterham both being disqualified from the championship for missing three rounds.

          1. @mazdachris True, but it opens up the possibility of saving one team at least – Caterham in 10th opens up the doors for them getting the prize money Marussia were due (minus a few million for clinching 9th, not 10th) – so if they can survive Abu Dhabi, then they could survive another 2 years after that, perhaps with minimal added investment to just finance essential costs.

          2. @fastiesty Unfortunately I don’t think that would be the case. The windfall that Marrussia were due wasn’t just from securing 9th, but a payment made relating to the number of points scored. Even if Caterham were to secure 10th, it would only be a fraction of the money that Marrussia would have gotten from 9th with 2 points. In fact I suspect it would barely cover the costs of contesting Abu Dhabi. That’s why these teams are in the position they’re in – no matter what they do, they are hamstrung by financial agreements which allow bigger teams to win tens of millions while the lower teams get virtually nothing.

            Even if they did manage to secure 10th and go, say, 10m for their trouble. That would be absorbed by the cost of contesting the final round, and then would otherwise be taken up by paying off their creditors.

            This is the unfortunate reality of how these teams have been operating, especially Caterham. They haven’t gone into administration simply because they don’t have any money. They owe millions to suppliers. The only hope they would have is that the money from securing 10th keeps them afloat long enough to secure investment. But who in their right mind would invest in a team with their recent history? They’d simply be throwing good money after bad. You don’t invest your money into a team with a record of throwing money away and failing to achieve anything, who have massive debts to their suppliers.

      3. Money has to be re allocated to saucer… marussia will be deleted from the championship as it no longer can race this season…very sad for them…

      4. @jop452 – I wonder who the other 2 teams are that are expected to fold as it could be Caterham, marussia and one other

  2. This really is dreadful news. F1 has a serious disease at the moment. This didn’t have to happen at all, but is a direct consequence of Ecclestone working on behalf of CVC to extract every possible penny from the sport. While today hundreds of regular people will be getting told that they’re now redundant, they will have to accept the reality that they have lost their jobs so that a select group of billionaires can make themselves even richer.

    This is an absolute disgrace for the sport.

    1. F1 has had the disease for a long time, it’s only now that it has progressed so far that it has become obvious to even the casual observer.

  3. I don’t like the idea of the crowd funding idea. Caterham, if they make it back will just be driving around on their own at the back.

    1. It really is a bit strange, aren’t there any wannabe F1 drivers out there who can spare a couple of millions to get that one drive? If Palmer and Boekhoven pool together they can buy get their guys a drive at least for 1 race!

      1. Or they could take the money and pay for a season in GP2 in a good car, rather than a race in the worst car in F1, which might not even make the race duration. As a platform for showing off your talent, Caterham is pretty useless.

        1. As a GP2 champion, Palmer’s excluded from future GP2 seasons. But I get what you mean.

  4. Very sad. I had great sympathy for the team also because of Jules Bianchi.
    Is there really no hope left for someone to come and carry it on?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th November 2014, 14:02

      You almost wish they hadn’t raced at Suzuka given the dire situation. What a tragedy all around…

    2. Ferrari probably lost sympathy when they lost Bianchi – a truly sad tale for all parties involved.

      1. @fastiesty And McLaren lost interest when they saw the figure Ferrari had paid them to run Jules.

        1. @countrygent Indeed, and they probably have enough of their own problems at the moment.

  5. This is such a terrible shame and proof it were needed that the financial cliff F1 has been merrily cruising towards is not merely a faceless structural fault to the skeletal form of the sport, but one costing highly skilled people their livelihoods and plunging families into jeopardy. John Booth’s name now unfortunately lies alongside Lord Hesketh and Adrian Campos (who attempted to start a team in 2010) as people who have learnt the hard way that F1 is no way bears resemblance to the wider world of single seater racing. I wish all the good friends I made in the Marussia F1 Team over five years all the very best in their future endeavours and hope to see many of them at other teams come Melbourne.

  6. Such a huge shame. And espeically imagine how Bianchi will feel when he is finally fit, only to find that his team collapsed just 2 weeks after his horrible accident.

  7. TBH, I can live with 18 cars for 1 season. We all love to have these new teams and all, but it doesn’t take much from the racing.

    1. this is a naive comment. the more cars there are on the track the more uncontrolled variables there are – think of blocking in qualifying, ignoring blue flags, not to mention the times when the small teams have actually competed (usually in a wet qualifying or in the race at monaco, for instance).

      also, they are part of the competition. these teams were quite good really, better than the simteks, fortis or andrea modas of only a few years ago.

    2. But it does take away the opportunity for 4 young drivers to make the step upto F1.

      Thats something it seems many fans forget, Its nearly always the smallest teams who give the younger drivers there 1st opportunities in F1.
      Take Jules Bianchi as an example, Force India passed on him as did Ferrari & others, But Marussia gave him a shot & he was doing a brilliant job for them & was been talked about as a future Ferrari driver.
      Alex Rossi looked like he was finally going to get a shot at F1 thanks to Marussia, Now he’s back to having no ride anywhere next year.

      Ricciardo, Alonso & many other F1 race winner & world champions got there foot in the door & were able to gain experience & impress enough to move forward thanks to the smallest teams. Its worth remembering that.

      1. Or just look at Keke Rosberg, who went from Fittipaldi – where the car was so uncompetitive that he couldn’t even qualify in five races – to winning a title the following year.

        As I’ve argued before, it is not just a case of the drivers being given potential seats to develop their craft, but also that of the designers and engineers too – just look at Aldo Costa, a major influence on the dominant W05, who originally broke into F1 via Minardi.

        Just look at how many of the major designers in F1 made their mark on the sport in those small teams you dismiss – Neil Oatley, at McLaren, came in at Williams when Williams were running customer March cars and were in much the same position as an outfit like Marussia was. Newey was at Fittipaldi, Postlethwaite at March, Geoff Willis at Leyton House, Byrne at Toleman – all middling or back of the field teams where those distinguished names honed their craft and were able to attract the attention of larger outfits.

        As much as we want to see great drivers, the teams also need a stream of talented technical staff to survive and thrive. Cut them out, and the resultant shrunken talent pool is, in the longer term, harmful to all of the teams in the sport, not just the smaller ones.

    3. 18 cars for 2015, 12 for 2016 because anyone planning on joining will want to see an upward trend not a downward spiral. CVC might have to revise F1s value down from the $10Bil. they were hoping for back to the price they paid for it, or kill it off altogether.

  8. Bernie should be ashamed.. His greed has ruined the reputation of Formula 1.

    Bernie is now too old for Formula 1 and he should step down from his position..

    1. But the true greedy have no shame.

    2. How do we know that Marussia were doing a good job running their business?

    3. Its ridiculous that Bernie can have so much money in the bank from F1, yet the teams that helped make him the money go out of business.

  9. They were proper racers – I hope they can make a comeback in some form

  10. My sympathy goes out to the men and women who’ve lost their jobs at Marussia. They’re the real victims of F1’s thoughtless, unfair, dysfunctional, money-for-nothing system that rewards those who have everything and penalises those who have nothing.

  11. Its got most to do with they were no good. If you are no good you will not survive. f1 has seen more precarious times, there’s lots of squealing about not having enough money but that’s the modern world and in reality, they had plenty of money, 70mill a season.. I passed a woman with a coffee cup begging on the pavement at lunchtime just as a silver Ferrari 458 whistled by. That’s the world. you want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for her. But no lets blame Bernie eh.

    1. Well, yeah let’s blame Bernie. Hundreds of millions are given out to the teams each year from the pot of money generated by TV and track hosting fees. Ecclestone deliberately offered deals to certain teams which ensured that they received a massive chunk of this money, while others are left receiving virtually nothing. There is more than enough money in F1 for all teams to be solvent, but because most of it is given out to the people who need it least, those in more need of it have been squeezed out. Now they Are two teams down on where they started the season, which was already missing two teams from the grid. With at least three more desperately struggling to stay afloat.

      Yes, there are people worse off (though there are now a couple of hundred more jobless people in the UK, who may be facing a genuine worry about ending up like your homeless woman on the street), but the point is that F1 exists as an entity which is trying to sell a racing product to its customers, and through its own actions it is unable to deliver that racing product. From a total of 26 potential cars, only 18 are on the grid, with virtually no interest from new people looking to take up the spaces. If F1 is to survive at all, it must change. It absolutely has to.

    2. +1

      The only reason to feel sorry about F1 is that in 2014 we see a accident like the one of Jules,

    3. Minardi were no good either, yet they survived in F1 for 20 years. And while they only got 38 points and not even one podium place to show for it, they provided a seat for drivers like Webber and Alonso to show their worth.
      There are many more teams which achieved essentially nothing during their time in F1, yet i’d rather have those teams competing because it’s their passion than teams like Mercedes. I’m willing to make a bet that Mercedes will change owners or fold completely within 10 years because they stop winning and/or the Mercedes company decides F1 isn’t giving them enough return on investment.

    4. “they had plenty of money, 70mill a season.”

      70m is not enough.

      The engine & tyre bill alone is probably close to half of that figure. Then when you take staff/driver payments & some of the transpiration & other running costs into consideration there’s practically nothing left for development & if you can’t develop the car you have zero chance of moving forward to compete with the mid-field teams.

      Thats where the problem lies, The cost of running the car has increased massively yet the prize money is still the same as it was when engines cost half of what they do now & when tyre supply was free & some of the other costs were also much lower.

      Also look at Sauber, Force India & Lotus, There struggling almost as much.

    5. £70 million is still £20 million more than the budget they’d been told they’d need when they signed up to join F1, had the big teams/FIA/FOM not gone back on their word the new teams would not be in the situation they’re in now.

    6. “they were no good” – That is one of the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Take a look at this graph: and see what Marussia have done with the money they get from FOM, and tell me they’re useless, and the 200 families who’ve lost their income a month before Christmas, tell them “That’s the world”. Seriously.

    7. To the above poster and those agreeing with him I have to say that I really doubt that you’ve used your head enough when considering the current sad state of F1’s departing and struggling teams.

      How can you believe that these teams as a whole were just no good, when they have achieved so much on the world’s premier motorsport stage? You’d have to be a fool not to understand that these “no good” teams are filled with incredibly intelligent and hard working individuals, who have toiled relentlessly and most likely devoted most of their adult life to getting this far in the sport we F1 fanatics live and breathe. Do you not recall that the majority of the sport’s greats, past and present, both in the car and in the garage or factory, had to start somewhere?

      F1 is a sport of winners, we all know that. And I don’t think F1 is on the verge of collapse like the doomsayers would have us believe. So far this decade we’ve had three pretty amazing seasons in terms of racing (2010, 2012, 2014), it almost feels like a golden era sometimes. Which makes this whole situation so hard for me to fathom. In fact I’m bewildered that somehow this amazing sport is crumbling and ripping at the seams while the incredible potential is clearly mismanaged or misused.

      You can ignore the real issues and blame the “no good” teams all you like, but I think we need those teams, just like each race needs it’s ‘losers’. Side with Bernie until the cows come home, but I think it is clear to most who genuinely care about F1, that unfortunately the real winners are currently those greedily pilfering our sport for power and money, while the real loser is sad to say the sport itself.

      1. Excellent comment !

      2. And that is the real truth of the matter.

  12. This is really sad. Caterham’s situation is sad because people will lose their jobs, but losing Marussia is a real blow. For the last few seasons, I’ve really felt like they’ve known what they were doing and made the most of their meagre budget. With more funds, I think they could have done far better than Caterham would in a similar situation. They were, as so many people have said, ‘real racers’.

    1. Yeah. While I wouldn’t contribute money to the running of any team, if I were to I’d pick Marussia over Caterham easily.

  13. I have no idea whether or not Caterham and Marussias business model was good or bad. Any team coming into F1 must be prepraed to work forwards on the grid and recognise that it will take time to get there.

    It is also very clear that the finances of F1 is sadly a real mess. For a sport that has so much cash how could it have got here. Selling the commercial rights for a pittance was the first mistake. The division of cash to the teams where three get about 50% makes no business sense. The amount then demanded for holding a race leaves many fans unable to go very often. Lets not talk about the money demand for TV rights. F1 is going the way of football (soccer) and I suspect cricket too. After 50 years I am losing interest and no longer quite as bothered about missing a race as it happens!

    1. …. And expect there is a fair distribution of the income. They should also expect that the control body will keep to it’s word when it got them to sign in.

  14. Losing one backmarker only makes another team the marker of the back.

  15. I’ve been critical of the inequality of the prize money structure for a while now, but would Marussia have won a race with Mercedes’ or Red Bull’s budget? Doubt it.

    1. McLaren have a huge budget and they have not won much recently. Williams have a much more limted budget and they seem to be doing pretty well. Lots of money does not equal guarenteed success – Ferrari have more than anyone and have had another really poor season.

  16. This is another bit of bad news, and I think we’ve all seen too much of that in Formula 1 lately. I’ve had a great fondness for Marussia for a long time now. They reminded me a lot of Minardi in all the right ways, doing promising things on a shoe-string budget, and the management and team members all really seemed to be passionate about the sport. Jules Bianchi scoring the team’s first points in Monac was the feel-good story of the season for me, it’s always great to see the plucky underdog get a result even if for the mega-rich teams such a result in any race would be seen as woeful.

    Now we just have to hope that the team can be carried on in some form, that a buyer can be found and a team entered in Marussia’s place, if that’s even possible. The grid looked very small back in 2009, I don’t want to see so many empty grid slots again next season.

  17. Its just a sad state of affairs a team of racers and genuine likeable people have now lost everything because of greed. Genuinely sad to see Marussia go, Ijust hope they can come back as Manor GP

  18. While this was becoming almost inevitable over the last few weeks it is indeed sad to see Marussia go. All teams from the grid expansion are gone. The signs were clear when HRT was lost but it almost seems now, that these teams were doomed from the start.

    I don’t know how Haas will fare, but as things stand I am skeptical that he will last long in F1 as well. People might say Marussia, Caterham and HRT weren’t good for the sport, that they were not competitive but looking at the grid this year, only Mercedes and Red Bull have won a race with Williams being the next best. It is no coincidence that teams that could afford to spend the most money are the ones doing the best (Ferrari and McLaren included). At the end of the day the 3 new teams could not spend the same volume of money as Mercedes or Red Bull, not because they couldn’t afford to but because the big teams could spend more and more and more. This is still not changing and I don’t see how it gets any better from here on.

    1. Mercedes only just increased their spending because they were being outspent also.

  19. It’s so sad to read confirmation of this.

    This should have been a great season for Manor Grand Prix. You could see the growth of the team as it progressed from being beaten by HRT in previous years to finally scoring actual World Championship in Monaco, beating Caterham again as well as looking like they were on for beating of an established team, Sauber.

    It’s all gone downhill so fast since the Bianchi crash in Japan. An event which will have taken it’s toll on team members, this confirmation of liquidation and the resulting job losses just serve to compound a miserable end to the Manor Grand Prix story.

  20. I’m devastated. This plucky little team from South Yorkshire with their heartthrob team principle and first world championship points deserved so much more.

  21. Feel for Jules, waking up and finding he’s out of F1 too. I do wonder if his accident stopped the money and forced them to fold.

  22. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th November 2014, 16:20

    It looks the new regs might cost F1 4-5 teams or crush them financially.

  23. I’d sooner donate to a Marussia crowd funding effort than Caterham. Caterham has been a total saga ever since it was sold to whatever-they-are-called.

  24. I can’t believe the team will not get it’s prize money… even though they officially are beating two teams, I think they earned that money and should use it to pay its creditors and staff with the balance. Sad day indeed though.

    1. Unfortunately, they’ve breached their contact :(

  25. F1 is officially a team deathtrap, be warned.

  26. To the people saying Marussia and Caterham won’t be missed: they won’t be missed … but that isn’t because they are ‘useless backmarkers’.
    It’s because there are not enough backmarker teams. If we would have something like 5 teams fighting for 9th in the championship, it would be amazing. But because there are (were?) only 2, we never see a real fight between them and they never appear in the FOM coverage.

  27. I’m proper gutted.. While I felt little for Virgin and Marussia initially, they won me over starting in 2012 by just keeping their head down and go racing. While Caterham exploded into a very weird brand (courtesy of Fernandes) since then and somehow went backwards. I’m especially gutted for the people working for Marussia. Say what you want, but I think there’s no denying they’ve been through a lot this season and losing your job after Jules’ accident in the same season you finally scored points.. I think the administrators might want to consider keeping an eye on the mental state of the employees as well..

    Unlike HRT (which never struck me as having any potential) or the manufacturers leaving I really feel a little down due to a team not being around anymore.

    Caterham and Marussia always managed to excite me when they were doing well and my roommate came checking on me when I cheered as both Saubers spun at Monaco. It’s such a shame we’re basically losing them both right now..

  28. wow, this is really depressing. Even Ferrari B-teaming them would be better than this.

  29. If I were Haas, I’d be pulling out by now. I want to see an American team, don’t get me wrong. But who wasn’t to drain millions for 4 years and go under with nothing to show except MAYBE a point or two? And not even get to collect on your achievement? At the least, Haas should be threatening to pull his entry unless the payout is evened out for 2016. I’m seriously disgusted with F1 anymore. You have to wonder how much richer they’d be if they treated teams, fans and promoters right. Those that say “this is just the state of the world today” need to realize it’s in this state because of greed. Economic slumps don’t magically appear for no reason.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th November 2014, 14:39

      @joey-poey I think Haas should take his money and invest it in a mutual fund. He can still make some T-shirts called Haas Racing and show up in the paddock with them and do the interviews. The savings come from not having any racing cars or a team…

      There is no point in subjecting himself to be the last on the grid for 4-5 years only to go belly-up. I love F1 but financially no one should be touching it but car manufacturers and large organizations looking for promotion.

  30. I’m really sad about that, really liked this team. It’s a team that had exactly one highlight, but so many tough moments, especially the accidents of De Villota and Bianchi. I have the utmost respect for both Caterham and Marussia for lasting five years in an environment that was basically trying to get rid off them.

    1. completely agree, you can give them stick about being at the back of the grid almost every race, but they made it further then most other small teams

  31. Actually now that I think about it, I’d like to challenge Bernie. If he thinks the teams did not handle their funds well enough, I challenge him to put aside the amount Marussia earned at the end of last season and attempt to run his own team in 2015. He’s a savvy businessman so surely this is something he could be qualified for. Hell, he ran Brabham for all those years. Shoot, he could make it easy on himself and buy the assets off Marussia to get started. If it’s actually fair in his head, I want to see him out his money where his mouth is.

  32. F1 is falling apart, it’s a joke. I can’t bear to watch. Good luck Hamilton as I would like a British champ but what’s the point in six good cars racing against 16 poor cars. It’s end game unless something happens to make f1 not only sustainable but more alarmingly worthwhile. WE IT IS!

    1. WEC it is.

  33. The BBC said that the ‘prize money’ Marussia was meant to get will stay with the FOM or something. I think that is a load of rubbish. They earnt that through hard work, and persistence, the least the FIA and the FOM (or some rights holder) could do, is give the team the money so that they can at least pay out the rest of the contracts and the 200 odd jobs that hard working, ordinary people are without. F1 is going downhill fast and with both Caterham and Marussia going into administration, who knows who’s next, Sauber, Force India, Torro Rosso?

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