LONDON (Reuters) - The Manor Formula One team has folded after going into administration and failing to find a buyer, leaving the sport with 10 teams two months before the start of the season in Australia.
Administrators FRP Advisory said that, while a separate entity that holds the right to enter the world championship remained active, the team’s operating company Just Racing Services Ltd (JRSL) had ceased to trade.
All but a handful of the 212 staff, who were sent home on Friday, will be made redundant next week. The British-based team, last in the 2016 championship, went into administration on Jan. 6.
The news came only days after the sport changed hands, with U.S.-based Liberty Media completing a takeover and replacing the sport’s 86-year-old commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone with Chase Carey.
“It is deeply regrettable that the team has had to cease trading and close its doors,” said joint administrator Geoff Rowley in a statement.
“We shall on Tuesday make staff redundant, all of whom have been paid for the full month of January.”
FRP said it and the team’s senior management had been unable to secure new investment within the time available.
Administrators had sounded more hopeful earlier in the week, amid speculation about a possible Indonesian takeover, saying talks with interested parties had intensified.
Manor had needed at least half a million pounds ($622,000) to pay salaries, prepare the cars and go testing at the end of February before the season starts in Melbourne, Australia, on March 26.
The team, who used Mercedes engines in 2016, are owned by Stephen Fitzpatrick who runs independent British energy supplier Ovo.
They were rescued from administration at the 11th hour in 2015 when they competed as Marussia - having started out in 2010 as Virgin Racing.
Last year’s drivers, Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein and France’s Esteban Ocon, have secured seats with Sauber and Force India respectively.
The team lost 10th place in the championship last year when Sauber overtook them at the penultimate race in Brazil. That meant Manor missed out on tens of millions in prize money to fund the team.
Their departure, barring any late rescue, means that all three of the teams that entered the sport in 2010 have now fallen by the wayside.
Spanish-based HRT folded in 2012 while Malaysian-owned Lotus Racing, which became Team Lotus and then Caterham, disappeared after the 2014 season. Neither scored a point.
Only one all-new team has entered since then, the U.S.-owned and Ferrari-powered Haas outfit who finished eighth overall last season.
Editing by Ed Osmond