L&T Motorsport

Goodbye Manor F1

On Wednesday the Manor F1 Team officially announced its withdrawal from the World Championship.

It ended speculation that Chinese investors were looking into buying the team and having it on the grid in Melbourne.

The team started out as Virgin Racing in 2010 and came into F1 with two other team’s, Lotus F1 and Hispania Racing with a budget of £40m, the teams entered the sport thinking that a budget cap would be introduced but it never happened, leaving all three of the new team’s in trouble.

Hispania, renamed HRT in 2011 was the first team to go under at the end of the 2012 season, arguably the worst of the three team’s as they failed to qualify for the season opening Australian Grand Prix in 2011/12.

This left Just Lotus renamed Caterham and Virgin renamed Marussia to battle it out at the back end of the grid.

In 2013 Marussia finished tenth in the Constructors Championship ahead of Caterham and the team showed solid progress and were heading in the right direction.

In 2014 Jules Bianchi’s heroic drive to P9 in Monaco gave the team their first points finish in Formula One. This placed them Ninth in the Constructors Championship ahead of Sauber and Caterham.

Tragically just five months later Bianchi had a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix, putting him into a coma and succumbed to his catastrophic injuries in July 2015.

The team was deeply affected by what had happened to their talented young driver and the team went into administration after the 2014 Russian Grand Prix alongside rivals Caterham.

Caterham returned through a Crowd funding scheme and raced at the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this sadly was the last time we saw Caterham compete as they did not find a buyer in time to compete in 2015.

In February 2015 a last minute deal ensured Marussia now renamed Manor- Marussia F1 would return to the grid, The team used a modified 2014 car, the MR03B. Tough times were to be expected using the year old car and the team finished the season tenth and last in the championship.

In 2016 the team dropped Marussia from their name and was now known as Manor Racing MRT.

They secured a Mercedes engine deal with the recruitment of Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wherlein, Wherlein scored the team’s only point of the season with a tenth placed finish in Austria, putting the team in the crucial tenth position of the Constructors Championship ahead of fellow backmarkers Sauber.

It looked like the team would keep tenth in the championship as Sauber was looking to have their second pointless season in three years, the dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix changed everything, Felipe Nasr’s ninth place for Sauber gave them two points which leapt them ahead of Manor and the team dropped down to Eleventh and last in the championship.

This was the final nail in the coffin for the team, the loss of prize money ensured that they didn’t have the funds to carry on competing and with no buyer found Manor is yet another team in F1’s graveyard.


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