The Manor F1 team might not make it to the grid in Melbourne after failing to find an investor for the 2017 season.
The team has been trying to find a new investor for 2017 for some months and at one point was apparently close to reaching a deal with US GP promoter Tavo Hellmund, but that, along with some other potential deals, appears to have come to nothing.
As a result the team could be heading for administration any day now unless a buyer can be found at the 11th hour.
2016 was the strongest season for Manor yet. The single point Pascal Wehrlein earned for finishing in 10th place in Austria meant that Manor critically held 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship for much of the year. That was until Felipe Nasr finished 9th for Sauber at the penultimate race in Interlagos, which put the Swiss team ahead in the standings. The loss of prize money for Manor as a result could well prove to be the difference between them racing in 2017 or not.
If Manor do fold it will mean that none of the new teams that came into F1 in 2010 will be racing anymore, after Caterham disappeared in 2014 and HRT bit the bullet back in 2012.
Update: The company that operates Manor has now gone into administration. It’s not looking good…