A couple of weeks ago, we heard that Manor F1 were not successful in securing enough financial backing to see them through the 2017 season and had closed their doors. This meant that the 3 teams who entered the sport back in 2010 had now gone into administration.
New era, new teams
Before the 2010 season got under way, it was announced that three new teams will compete under the £40m cost cap imposed by then FIA president Max Mosley. The 3 teams included, Lotus Racing, Hispania Racing F1 Team and Virgin Racing. By 2012, Lotus Racing was now named Caterham F1 team, Hispania was now named HRT F1 team and Virgin Racing was now named Marussia F1 team.
2012 proved to be HRT’s last season as they failed to find a buyer when the team decided to sell. HRT was statically the “worst” of the new teams with a highest finish of 13th place throughout the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Although one positive thing that came out of the team was that they gave now Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo a race seat for 10 races during the 2011 season.
Caterham was the next team to go and at the Russian GP of 2014, it proved to be the last race as the team fell into administration. The team was forced to miss the American and Brazilian GPs but returned for the final race in Abu Dhabi. That was the last GP contested by Caterham as they could not find a buyer. A highest finish of 11th place was the best result over the course of 5 seasons.
Manor has been the most successful out of the 3 teams clinching 3 championship points over the course of their career. Their first points came during the 2014 Monaco GP where Jules Bianchi finished 9th and another point came at the 2016 Austrian GP where pascal Wehrlein finished 10th. Marussia along with Caterham, could not compete in the American GP and then the rest of the 2014 season due to a lack of financial backing. A crucial point at the Brazilian GP where Manor lost 10th place to Sauber and a reported £30 million pounds loss in prize money.
Haas shows new teams how to enter properly
When Haas F1 entered F1 last season, I feared that they were going to be a back marker team like Manor. But to my surprise and others, they didn’t feature at the back very often.
Haas finished 8th in the Constructors Championship with 29 points and a best finish of 5th. Haas has received a mixed response from smaller teams who had invested in their own infrastructure and expressed concerns about the close relationship between manufacturers and junior teams.
Haas has been applauded for a low-cost model that would allow new teams to enter the sport and be competitive.
What can Liberty Media do or what they didn’t do?
Just 5 days Manor went into administration, Bernie Ecclestone was forced out of F1 by the new management of Liberty Media. If I was aware that Manor were in trouble of going into administration, I’m sure Liberty Media was aware as well.
A good gesture by Liberty Media I thought would be to help and potentially save Manor from going into administration. This would haver shown that they are interested and willing to help. It probably would of made them a lot more popular than they are now.
Reading in last weeks Autosport magazine (February 2nd 2017), they talk about a 5 point plan for F1’s new direction. One of the big topics covered in the plan is Money and the collapse of Manor is mentioned. It talks about the failed budget cap Max Mosley tried to impose. Also in the news, yesterday, Williams Team principal, Claire Williams believes the introduction of a budget cap in Formula 1 would suit her team because of the efficient way it already uses its modest funds.
So can a budget cap keep teams like Manor afloat and improve the racing?
A tough sport but nothing else
Competition at the back of the grid has been and was fierce. Every position counts when it comes to the Constructors Championship.
At the end of each season, the teams are given important prize money based on where they finish in the Constructors Championship. For example, the first placed team will receive a lot more money that the last placed team. The money is not split very fairly.
I am sure to say that the whole of F1 and myself will miss Manor F1.