Belfast Telegraph

Talks continuing in efforts to keep Manor Formula 1 team competing

The Manor Formula 1 team is facing a race against the clock to secure its survival as the cash available to pay its 200 staff is set to run out within days.

The group, which collapsed into administration earlier this month, requires new owners to inject money into the team so it can pay for the completion of testing before the start of the Formula 1 season in March.

It is understood that while several bidders have expressed an interest in the group, none have submitted formal offers with money to pay staff quickly evaporating.

A spokesman for the group's administrator FRP Advisory said in a statement: "Administrators informed staff earlier this month that they were comfortable that finances were in place to pay salaries until the end of January.

"This has allowed ongoing talks with interested parties to continue into this week.

"While there is still nothing further to announce, we can confirm that talks continue with all parties in an attempt to secure the necessary funding to allow work on testing for entry into the 2017 season to continue."

If Manor fails to find a rescuer by January 31, then a number of the 200 staff could face the axe.

The spokesman added: "Everyone involved in the talks is focused on the team being in the best possible position for the first race of the 2017 season.

"However, the administrators have to keep a continuous review of the financial position of the business."

Manor had previously been backed by energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick, the founder of OVO.

FRP has said that the team's participation in the 2017 Formula 1 season, which begins on March 26 in Melbourne, Australia, 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".

Administrators pointed out that Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd, which has the rights for Manor's participation in F1, is not in administration.