Belfast Telegraph

Formula 1 Manor team owned by Northern Ireland man Fitzpatrick ceases trading

The Manor Formula 1 team, which was backed by Northern Ireland man Stephen Fitzpatrick, has ceased trading after administrators failed to find new investment.

The group which employs 212 staff has been in administration since January 6.

Administrator FRP  said on Friday there was no "sustainable financial structure" which could keep the team going and it was unable to find a buyer.

Staff were sent home and told they will be made redundant on Tuesday.

Ovo Energy chief and Belfast native Stephen Fitzpatrick put in £30m of his own money to help the team, previously called Marussia, get out of administration in 2015. The investment also took the F1 fan from the grandstands to the pits.

He made the investment in the troubled team with Justin King, the former head of Sainsbury's.

Manor are understood to have suffered a financial hit in the region of £11m when rivals Sauber overtook them for 10th place in the F1 standings at last season's penultimate round.

In a much-improved season on 2015, the team scored one point in 2016 with Pascal Wehrlein's 10th place finish in Austria.

It was reported Mr Fitzpatrick had been in discussions with new investors in recent months to secure the team's long-term future but no deal was struck, leading to the administrators being called.

Born in Belfast, Fitzpatrick attended Our Lady and St Patrick's College before studying business and finance at Edinburgh University in 1995. After finishing his MA, he launched The Rental Guide Ltd, a property newspaper, for which was nominated for the Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

This led on to jobs in the City of London with financial institutions Societe Generale and JP Morgan. As the financial crisis started, he left to set up the Bristol-based OVO in 2009.

Manor began life as Virgin Racing in 2010 when it entered the sport on a promise from the then FIA president Max Mosley that a £40m budget cap would be put in place. However, before the team turned a wheel Mosley was ousted from the sport and the budget cap never came into place.

The team's collapse as Liberty Media confirmed a take-over of the sport.


From Belfast Telegraph