Formula One lost a team on Friday with the news that the Manor Racing team has been placed into administration by owner Stephen Fitzpatrick.
The Banbury based outfit who entered Formula One in 2010 along with HRT and Caterham were taken over by Fitzpatrick in 2015 and the Northern Irishman tried his best to save the team however Fitzpatrick stated on Friday that the Brazilian Grand Prix ended any chance of them finishing the year in 10th place in the championship after Sauber scored points with Felipe Nasr.
There have been no redundancies at the Manor Racing team yet however, Fitzpatrick has said that there is now a limited window of opportunity for the team to ensure that they are on the grid for the season opening Australian Grand Prix which takes place on March 26.
The news of Manor’s situation has to call into question the selection process and the criteria for a team to come into Formula One.
In five seasons the sport has seen three team’s disappear although Manor did come back however this is the second time that the team has been placed in administration and this not a good sign for the sports new owners Liberty Media as it gives the sport an extremely bad name due to the fact that the smaller teams are not able to compete against the larger teams.
The sport’s governing body, the FIA need to step up with the commercial rights holder and sort out the financial mess as it is not just teams who are struggling but circuits are struggling to raise the money needed to host Formula One Grand Prix.
The BRDC, the owners of the Silverstone circuit which hosts the British Grand Prix have confirmed that they may not host the race beyond the end of their current contact which expires at in 2019.
Silverstone is not the only circuit threatening to quit the sport as the organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix have also confirmed that they are looking at dumping their Grand Prix and concentrating on MotoGP. Singapore have also cast doubt over the future of their event.
The sport needs to do something and fast because the financial model that is currently in place where the larger teams get the majority of the prize money is no longer viable and the sport has become like the Premier League where you have three splits with the top three team’s Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, the midfield teams of Williams, Force India, Toro Rosso, Haas, Renault and McLaren and then the back of the grid, Sauber and Manor.
This model is no longer sustainable and something NEEDS to be done, as we are talking about people’s lives, families. Take Manor for example, the Banbury based outfit employ roughly 200 people should the team collapse that will put 200 people out of work affecting over 200 families not to mention the wider impact on the surrounding businesses in Banbury. If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly should be now and that is FORMULA ONE IS NOT A GLAMOROUS SPORT!!!